LOS ANGELES - A family has filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles., saying it has not fulfilled its pledge to help rebuild the aftermath of the Los Angeles Police Department's failed fireworks detonation that nearly destroyed a neighborhood.
The family of Jose Becerra is asking for at least $1 million from the city to rebuild their home.
The June 30, 2021, blast sent 17 residents and first responders to hospitals, damaged 22 homes and 13 businesses.
Becerra and his family are among the displaced. Becerra and nine of his family members were inside their house when the explosion happened. Becerra said he remembers the front window shattering. Five of the nine family members were injured, including Becerra's two aunts, his uncle, his wife and himself. The house was purchased by Becerra's 85-year-old aunt 22 years ago.
Since the explosion, the family has lived in a hotel.
"We are suffering a lot. It is very difficult to be in a hotel with all of us. There is no family integration and every day feels more like a nightmare. It is painful and frustrating to be living the way we are living," said Becerra in Spanish.
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The family is living in three separate rooms on different floors in the hotel. It is a lifestyle unlike the one they had while living on 27th street.
"It is difficult to not have the security of when the house will be ready. Here, at the house, we can basically be in the same room, taking care of each other and being in contact with each other, but there, at the hotel, we have to have only four people in one room, and we are separated," said Becerra's wife, Claudia Silva, in Spanish.
The family said they are struggling mentally and financially.
"We have medical problems, emotional problems, financial problems, and family problems now," said Becerra.
According to a newly-released report from the LAPD Inspector General, the officers ignored safety warnings from one of their most experienced technicians. The member who raised concerns reportedly flagged both the volume and the weight of fireworks as excessive and too powerful. However, the fireworks were still detonated inside the LAPD containment vessel in the neighborhood.