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police & fire

Police Seize Cache Of Fireworks From Valhalla Home, Evacuate Area

VALHALLA, N.Y. -- A Valhalla man was arrested early Tuesday after Westchester County Police said they discovered a large cache of commercial-grade fireworks stacked floor-to-ceiling in his basement on Saldi Lane.

Police evacuated the area around the home Tuesday and closed the streets to traffic until the explosive material was removed.

Stephen Surace, 53, has been charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, and unlawfully dealing in fireworks, a misdemeanor. Surace will be arraigned in Mount Pleasant Town Court on Tuesday.

Police arrested Surace after an undercover officer bought $1,000 worth of fireworks and noticed the large cache in the basement.

“Based on the volume of material and the potential explosive hazard, the decision was made to move immediately to arrest Mr. Surace and secure the home,” Public Safety Commissioner George N. Longworth said.

Many of the fireworks were the type used in commercial fireworks displays. Officers from the Westchester County Police Hazardous Devices Unit and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were removing the fireworks from the house.

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