Mother Shields Young Daughter As U-Haul Full of Fireworks Explodes on Residential Street

At least three people were injured after a moving van carrying fireworks caught fire in an Ohio neighborhood on the Fourth of July.

The chaotic scene—bright bursts of fireworks punctuated with loud booms as people ran for cover screaming—was caught on video by neighbors and posted to social media Sunday. Bystanders likened the ordeal to being in a "war zone." In one video, a woman can be seen shielding a crying little girl on the porch as bright sparks fly by and people race down the street.

WTOL reported that the woman, identified later as Val McKee, said the ordeal was frightening.

The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department said the cause of the fire that set off the fireworks is under investigation. Toledo Police didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Editor's Note: The video of the explosion is courtesy of WTOL. The footage contains explicit language.

A lot of unanswered questions in East Toledo, after a rental truck filled with fireworks caught fire.

Toledo fire report 3 known victims injured, and possibly one more take to a hospital privately.

— Jon Monk (@JonWTOL) July 5, 2021

Two people had to be transported to the hospital via ambulance with unknown injuries, and one was taken to local ER via private auto, according to the fire department's report.

There was no update available on their conditions Monday.

Photos from the aftermath Monday show mounds of debris from the truck explosion littering the ground throughout the neighborhood.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, fireworks are regulated as an explosive Class 1 hazardous material (hazmat), so the hauling of them is regulated under Hazardous Materials Regulations. Because of that classification, drivers must have commercial transit and hazmat endorsements and vehicles must be marked hazmat on all four sides.

The truck in the Ohio explosion appears to have been a standard U-Haul rental.

Authorities often warn about the potential dangers of fireworks and ways to safely handle them during July 4 celebrations. Thousands of Americans are injured badly enough each year to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the National Safety Council.

The Ohio incident wasn't the first major explosion of fireworks this holiday.

A Los Angeles man who was arrested over the weekend has been accused of using a rental truck to deliver 32,000-pounds of illegal fireworks from Arizona to his home, the Justice Department said in a news release announcing Arturo Ceja III's arrest.

Authorities had received an anonymous tip that fireworks were being stored in Ceja's backyard.

"Ceja did not possess an ATF explosives license or permit of any kind that would authorize him to transport either aerial display fireworks or homemade fireworks made with explosive materials, including but not limited to flash powder," according to the complaint affidavit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A conviction of transporting explosives without a license can lead to 10 years in federal prison.

Fireworks for July 4
Fireworks during the 4th Of July Independence Day Concert and Fireworks Display at Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater on July 4, 2021 in Miramar, Florida. Johnny Louis/Getty Images