VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Video obtained exclusively by 10 On Your Side’s investigative team shows an explosive fly over a Virginia Beach neighborhood and blow up on impact.
The explosion damaged a home in the 1800 block of River Rock Arch at 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 27. A mother told Virginia Beach Fire Department investigators that she and her daughter were sitting in their family room at the time of the explosion, which is on the same side of the house that was damaged. They heard a loud boom, their curtains shook, and they saw sparks and bright lights, according to court records obtained by 10 On Your Side.
Watch the home surveillance video below:
Keith Ortiz captured video of the incident on his home security cameras and says he remembers the moment a loud boom shook his house during a family movie night.
“I was putting cookies in the oven and then next thing you know, the whole house shook,” he said. “And when the house shook, she thought something fell down upstairs and I was like man, that sounds different. Maybe like a transformer or something blew.”
He went outside to check his home then saw smoke and fire trucks down the block. Fire marshals came to his home the next morning asking for surveillance video.
“I feel like it’s a firework that belongs at Mt. Trashmore on the Fourth of July,” he said.
VBFD assessed the damage, which included a hole in the ground about three feet away from the home, a shattered window, and mangled siding. Evidence was collected from the scene, including three cardboard fins, three D12-15 model rocket engines, masking tape, hot glue, heavy-duty cardboard, and a hobby fuse. A soil sample will be tested by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science to determine what type of explosive was used, but fire investigators believe it was a firework or model rocket, court records state.
Ortiz says two weeks ago, police were back in the neighborhood at a home on Onyx Lane.
Investigators also spoke with several neighbors, who identified a person living in the 1800 block of Onyx Lane as someone who may be responsible for the explosion. A utility trailer found outside of the Onyx Lane home was outfitted with PVC pipe blackened with scorch marks and may have been used to launch the firework or rocket, according to court records.
“I just heard like a megaphone telling people to come out and then you saw, like, police surrounding a house,” he said. “It was in the general direction of the video so, maybe that was the person.”
Ortiz says he’s just happy no one was seriously hurt during the incident.
“Had it landed and went through a window while someone was sleeping and exploded in somebody’s bedroom, it could have been a lot different story,” he said. “That wasn’t the case luckily. At least it was outside and it caused minimal damage and there was no life lost.”
No items were collected during a search of the Onyx Lane home. The person who lives there hasn’t been formally charged with a crime, so 10 On Your Side will not name them in this report.
This is a developing story. Check back on WAVY.com for updates.