🔥 The two men who died in Aug. 3 fire and explosion have still not been identified

🔥 It's not yet known what triggered the fire and explosion

BUENA — The explosion of a house that killed four people including two toddlers was caused by a large amount of commercial-grade explosive materials on the property used to make fireworks.

Franklin Township Police Chief Matthew DeCesari said in a statement that the initial investigation of the fire at a house on Northwest Boulevard determined that the Aug. 3 explosion most likely took place on the first floor in the rear left corner of the two-story house. Gas utilities were not a factor in the explosion.

The damage from the fire, the collapse and the excavation during the search made it impossible for the Atlantic County Bomb Squad to determine the exact materials that caused the explosion. DeCesari did not disclose what may have triggered the fire and explosion.

Explosive material was also found in a vehicle and other structures on the property.

Among the materials found in the vehicle:

  • 74 lbs of Potassium Nitrate
  • 15 lbs of Aluminum powder
  • 8.5 lbs of Aluminum (power ALCOA)
  • 5.6 lbs of 17 x 25 homemade aerial shells
  • small amounts of magnesium, Calcium Carbonate, Parlon-Chlorinated Rubber

Found in the buildings on the property:

  • 58 lbs of Amonium Nitrate
  • 58 lbs of Aluminum powder
  • 26 lbs of Sodium Salicylate
  • 25 lbs of Potassium Nitrate
  • 45 lbs of Potassium Benzoate
  • 10 feet of Quick Match
  • 50 feet of hobby fuse

The chief said that the identities of the  2 ½-year-old boy and 3 ½-year-old girl have been confirmed but will not be released because of their age. Medical records are needed to identify two men, age 52 and 73.

A 16-year-old girl and 1 month old were also injured in the fire and explosion.

Map showing 300 block of Northwest Boulevard in Buena
Map showing 300 block of Northwest Boulevard in Buena (Google maps)

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