NEW HAVEN -- The New Haven Police Department and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is investigating and trying to safely handle a massive amount of explosives inside a home on Westminster Street. Police said illegal fireworks were being made there.
Around 5 p.m. Wednesday night police were called to the home for a domestic dispute. It wasn't until Thursday morning, investigators received a search warrant to enter the home at 35 Westminster Street. The male and female living in the home were renters, not homeowners, police said.
Police said they have arrested and charged Pasquale Criscio, 49, of New Haven. Criscio is charged with illegal possession and storage of fireworks, illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs, possession of explosives and two counts of risk of injury to a minor. Police said the two counts of risk of injury to a child are because there were two kids in the home at the time of the domestic arrest last night.
Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department, said that in no way do police believe there are any terrorist connections to this case.
Wednesday night, police noticed a large amount of materials in the home that they thought looked consistent with making fireworks. Investigators said during their search, they found hundreds of pounds of black powder used to make massive amounts of fireworks. They also said the home contained mortars, wicked and wrapped, piled from the basement floor up the stairs.
Neighbors were at a loss for words when the explosives began to pour out of the house.
"I was surprised, I was scared, I was you know, speechless," says Levis Morales.
Morales said the explosives could have put his family in danger.
"If something would have went wrong, myself and my family would have been the first casualty," says Morales.
New Haven police and fire departments, state police and DEEP are involved in the investigation and are using a drone to help search the property.
"The New Haven Police Department is taking the lead on this incident," said Cyndy Chanaca of DEEP. "(Our) emergency response unit is assisting and will evaluate what materials are there and determine how to handle."