UPDATE: Storm Baseball Fireworks Explosion Injures Three

One person was critically injured with burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body; two others were also hurt, though less severely, officials said.

UPDATE AUG. 31 at 8:30 p.m.:

Investigators Friday night sought the cause of a fireworks explosion that badly burned one person and injured two others in The Diamond Stadium parking lot.

The fireworks went off unexpectedly about 5 p.m. in a dirt lot near The Diamond at Campbell Street; a crew was setting up a fireworks display for Storm Baseball's regular "Friday Night Fireworks" show.

"An explosion in the product occurred. We don't know what the cause was, but [it] was a catastrophic explosion that consumed the vast majority of the product," said Steven Beach, Cal Fire Battalion Chief.

Two employees from a fireworks display company and one inspector from Cal Fire were setting up the show and were injured in the accident, Beach said.

A fireworks company employee suffered first- and second-degree burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body, Beach said.

He was airlifted from the scene to a nearby hospital. Another employee and the firefighter suffered less severe burns and were both taken to area hospitals by ambulance.

The victims' names were not released.

As of 8 p.m. Friday, fire crews and the Riverside County Hazardous Device Team were on scene, disposing of remaining unexploded material.

Beach said crews were proceeding carefully because investigators don't know what triggered the explosions.

Storm Baseball General Manager Chris Jones issued a statement on the team's Facebook page Friday evening.

"We regret to announce that tonight's fireworks show has been canceled due to an unfortunate accident involving setup of the fireworks show.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the fireworks crew and all those involved. [The] game will still go on as scheduled at 7:05 p.m."

The explosions triggered a small grass fire that burned less than a quarter acre and was quickly contained by fire crews.

According to a Patch reporter on scene, a black Toyota truck -- which sustained extensive damage in the blaze -- and a Ryder truck were being used to set up the fireworks for the game.

--Daniel Lane contributed to this report

Brenda September 02, 2012 at 08:55 AM
Kristina, Kimberly, JHB, I have been praying for them all since this news came out. I didnt realize one was that bad with first and 2nd degree burns :/ Usuallly those take a long while to heal but they make it through. I am continuing to pray for this young man Willie as God works in amazing ways, as do our prayers. I was dying nearly 3 yrs ago, and all of a sudden the next day I began improving out of nowhere, so we don't give up until we have to. God does listen to prayers and no matter which way this goes, he is holding Willie, his family and friends so you all walk together with his love and support. Lord bless Willie and his family and friends, give them your arms to give them strength to get through this time.
Kat September 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Kimberly, Willie just passed
Zygo September 02, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Curious...were they wearing fire retardant/resistant clothing while handling these dangerous products? The article doesn't make note of it. And, the CalFire employee - he was helping them move the product? If so, isn't his job fire safety supervision and not a member of the work crew? It is so sad that a young person, working to help pay his way thru college, may pay an extreme price so early in his life. My prayers are with him.
Kristina September 02, 2012 at 08:19 PM
From his brother, my nephew, Ron Calabrese: It is with great sadness that I must inform the community: On September 2, 2012 at 8:10am the soul of William Dominic Calabrese left his failing body. He is free now from the pains of this world. His spirit will live on forever in our hearts and minds. Thank you for your outpouring of love and support. He loved and cared deeply for his friends. Rest In Peace Willy Calabrese! I'm proud to be your brother. Gone but never forgotten.
Kristina September 02, 2012 at 08:20 PM
@ Zygo: I do not know the details of how this horrible tragedy occurred. My nephew lost his fight and passed this morning.


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