Watch CBS News

'People On This Block Are Hurting': More Allegations Pinned On LAPD In Aftermath Of South LA Fireworks Explosion

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The aftermath of a blast that rocked a South Los Angeles neighborhood in June continues to be felt as the families of two people who recently died say the explosion contributed to the deaths.

Loved ones said that the health of one of the victims was on a decline immediately after the June explosion in South L.A.

An LAPD bomb squad vehicle exploded with seized illegal fireworks inside, and injured 17 people after what was likely a weight miscalculation, officials said.

One man -- retired 72-year-old middle school teacher Auzie Houchins -- died after what his family said was due to how the city handled the aftermath of the fireworks explosion and the evacuation process.

The other individual who died was also removed from their home in a similar fashion, according to Ron Gochez, the Vice President of the South Central Neighborhood Council.

"In both cases when they were removed from their homes, the police or whoever evacuated them, they didn't take out the oxygen machine, oxygen tanks so that led to some problems," Gochez said.

According to his family, Houchins had diabetes and wasn't getting the care he needed at the hotel where they had been staying.

Gochez said many families in the South Central neighborhood are still without a home and are staying in hotels paid for by the city.

"If you look at this neighborhood, every single house here is boarded up still. Why would it take more than a month to put in new windows?" he said.

According to Gochez, if the city doesn't act quickly, more people may die.

"We have to make sure we organize to make sure the city continues to pay for what they caused. We know this explosion would never have happened in a more affluent community," Gochez said.

LAPD has not yet responded to a request to comment from CBS Los Angeles.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.