Illegal fireworks: Horsham police investigating St Helens Plains explosions

HORSHAM Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating a number of suspicious explosions in the St Helens Plains area during the Grampians bushfires.

CFA strike teams were in the area on Saturday morning trying to save farm houses.

While at a property on Ross Road there was an explosion inside a shipping container followed by rapid smaller explosions.

For safety reasons CFA crews moved out of the danger area and reported the incident to police.

Police believe a 44-gallon drum containing a flammable liquid housed inside the container exploded.

The impact changed the shape of the container from square to round and blew open the container doors. 

Fireworks stored inside the container ignited and exploded through the open doors.

Detective Sergeant Steve Walker from Horsham CIU said this was a reminder of the danger flammable items stored incorrectly could cause.

“CFA volunteers were already putting their lives at risk fighting the fire. For them to be put in further danger because of an incident like this is completely irresponsible,” he said.

“Flammable items must be stored correctly, especially on farming properties in bushfire prone areas.

“Fireworks are illegal unless you have a permit.”

Detectives - along with arson and explosives investigators and an arson chemist - attended the property on Ross Road on Monday and executed a search warrant.

They seized a number of items.

Det Sgt Walker urged anyone with any information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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