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Man killed in explosion while lighting commercial-grade firework at Aurora's Grandview Dog Park, police say

Police say there are investigating the incident as an "accidental death."
grandview dog park fatal explosion
Man killed after homemade device exploded at Aurora's Grandview Dog Park in Aurora
man killed after setting off homemade device in Aurora dog park
grandview dog park explosion deadly
Posted at 1:02 PM, Feb 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-29 15:02:26-05

AURORA, Colo. — A 42-year-old man died overnight at an Aurora dog park when a large, commercial-grade firework exploded as he was lighting it, Aurora police said.

The Aurora Police Department said multiple people called 911 around 12:50 a.m. Thursday to report an explosion at Grandview Dog Park, located at 17500 E. Quincy Ave.

man killed after setting off homemade device in Aurora dog park

When the officers arrived, they found a deceased man as well as several people around him who were visibly distraught, Aurora police said.

Police said, based on their preliminary investigation, they believe the man traveled to Aurora with two others to visit food and beverage businesses. The trio went to the park around 1 a.m. with several large, commercial-grade fireworks. The man was lighting one of the fireworks when it exploded, killing him. Nobody else was injured.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene, as well as the Arapahoe County Bomb Squad and the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network (RAVEN) group. The bomb squad deactivated four additional fireworks, police said.

Police called this an "accidental death" and initially said the device was "some kind of homemade explosive, likely a homemade firework." Police later confirmed the device was indeed a firework, but said it wasn't clear if it was homemade or purchased out of state.

Update on fatal explosion at Aurora dog park; 1 man dead

The man who died when the device exploded has not been identified, but Aurora police said he was a 42-year-old man from Strasburg.

Law enforcement went to the man's home in Strasburg and did not find any evidence of explosive-making activity or other fireworks, police said.

The five-acre dog park is along the northwest edge of Quincy Reservoir.

grandview dog park explosion

The investigation is ongoing and criminal charges are not expected, police said. The dog park will reopen later Thursday.

Ravyn Taylor, who lives in the area, said she remembers hearing a loud bang and then police sirens from her Ring camera. She said she initially thought it was a car crash. Taylor said she heard a woman screaming and knew something serious had happened.

This is a developing story and will be updated.