When an Oklahoma City fire crew responded to a trash container blaze early Sunday, firefighters encountered a source of heat they never expected: an onslaught of mortar rocket fireworks from an adjacent apartment complex.
Firefighter Rick Horner told police one rocket landed on the ground between his legs. The explosion caused temporary hearing loss for Horner, police said.
“We’ve never seen something like this,” said Oklahoma City fire Deputy Chief Marc Woodard, who is nearing 30 years with the department. “We’ve had some crazy things happen, but this was a little bit unusual.”
Firefighters at the scene, 3900 Dunjee Blvd., called for police backup shortly after midnight and told them where the fireworks were being launched. As officers walked behind an apartment in the complex, a man opened a door and threw out a mortar launching tube, then closed the door, police said.
Officers entered the apartment and detained two men; Derek Dewayne Shaw, 22, and Jaylen Desharo Edwards, 19, both of Oklahoma City. The firefighters, and an anonymous caller, told police Shaw and Edwards matched the description of those launching fireworks from the apartment, police said.
Shaw and Edwards were booked into Oklahoma County jail on complaints of the use or threat to use an explosive, incendiary or simulated bomb to damage or injury a person or property, according to the police report.
Shaw, whose first name is listed as Devon in the jail register, remained in jail Monday on $24,000 bail. Edwards was released on bond Sunday, a jail spokeswoman said.
The firefighter who suffered temporary hearing loss from the incident is recovering well and did not require medical attention, Woodard said.