11/25/2014

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Officials investigate Fourth of July injury explosion

Officials investigate Fourth of July injury explosion

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A man was arrested Friday for allegedly making dangerous explosives for Fourth of July entertainment.

Four people, including the suspect, were injured in the July 4 explosion at a home off a relatively rural stretch of Stockdale Highway.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad and the Kern County Fire Department Arson Unit served search warrants Friday at the Stockdale Highway home and at the suspect's home on Starbright Drive, near Panama Lane and Ashe Road in southwest Bakersfield.

James Trino, 49, is accused of filling balloons with an "extremely flammable" chemical, tying the balloons to a tetherball pole and detonating the balloons, according to sheriff's office spokesman Ray Pruitt.

He said one of the balloons exploded prematurely, causing the injuries. One person suffered serous injuries, Pruitt said.

The sheriff's spokesman said it appears Trino was "just doing it to entertain people" on the Fourth of July.

Trino was arrested on suspicion of possessing and manufacturing an explosive device, setting an explosive device causing great-bodily injury and being an ex-felon in possession of ammunition.

Investigators determined that Julian Elizondo, who owns and lives on the Stockdale Highway property, was also involved in manufacturing and igniting the devices. He, too, was arrested.

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