San Jose PD seizes 38K pounds of illegal fireworks following storage unit fire investigation

Lauren Martinez Image
Saturday, July 1, 2023
SJPD seizes 38K pounds of illegal fireworks
San Jose police arrested two suspects after seizing 38,000 pounds of illegal fireworks during an investigation into a storage facility fire.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose police have arrested two suspects after responding to a large fire at a Public Storage on Blossom Hill Road on June 14. Initial reports indicated the fire was started by multiple illegal fireworks igniting inside a storage unit, police said.

During their investigation, detectives identified two suspects - 45-year-old Anthony Dasilva and 25-year-old Nathaniel Valassis - and several other storage units that contained additional illegal fireworks.

After searching more units and multiple residences, police seized the following:

  • Approximately 38,000 lbs. of illegal fireworks
  • Over 13 ounces of methamphetamine for sale
  • Over 200 grams of cocaine for sale
  • Marijuana for sale
  • Approximately $4,800 in cash
  • One semi-automatic firearm

Both suspects were arrested for various crimes and booked into jail. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A retired fire chief told ABC7 News, 38,000 pounds of illegal fireworks is enough to level a building or burn one down. A massive amount - now off of South Bay streets.

The fire destroyed an estimated 40 to 50 storage units.

Bryce Grenon said his family had pretty much everything in their storage unit because they were weeks away from moving. When he heard the amount of illegal fireworks seized, he thought it was a mistake at first.

"We didn't think it was serious, we thought, oh someone messed up the numbers or something it couldn't be 38,000 pounds," Grenon said.

Grenon visits the storage facility every other day to see if he can salvage anything. His grandfather's war jacket and medals were in the unit.

Grenon said the most challenging part has been telling his daughter some of their cherished belongings are gone.

"Her baby pictures, ultrasound pictures, everything was in there," Grenon said.

Friends created a GoFundMe for his family as they try and move forward and continue their move to Auburn, California.

Rayna Hildebrand and her boyfriend both moved to San Jose in January. Hildebrand said their unit was on the third floor.

"Yes I didn't lose a life and my loved ones are safe but it doesn't really take away the pain of losing things you work so hard for that you can never get back," Hildebrand said.

She created a GoFundMe to cover some of the belongings she lost.

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