Neighbors begin the path to recovery from trauma


The massive explosion that left 17 injured and damaged a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles happened a week ago, but those affected have a long way to go.

Fireworks explosion in South LA: Neighbors begin recovery process

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“It was really hard. We came to see the doctor,” said Sofia Zaragoza, who lives one block from the explosion site.


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Zaragoza and her family suffered from ringing in their ears after the explosion and stopped at the city’s local aid center on Wednesday to see a doctor. The American Red Cross, government agencies, utility companies, and nonprofits are here to help affected families and businesses. About 20 houses had to be evacuated.

VIDEO: Scared local residents describe explosion in South LA

“On July 4th, I was really scared because I kept hearing fireworks. And when I hear someone clap, I get scared. Not so long ago something fell and I winced. It’s really traumatic,” said Matthew Hernandez, who lives next to the explosion site.

“I think one of the most important is the psychological component,” said James Westbrook, Councilor Curren Price’s chief of staff. “We encountered a number of residents who were traumatized by the explosion, so it was very important to us.”

“It’s just sad that it happened, and I feel for the people who have suffered worse damage than we have and for the injuries they suffered,” said Marc Nesbit, whose church was damaged by the explosion.

Nesbit is the senior director of St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, which suffered significant damage, including the basement ceiling that broke off the building’s foundation.

“Residential explosives are ridiculous. Explosives anywhere outside of a battlefield or military training are unnecessary. Within a civilized population. They should have been removed and moved to a safe place to be detonated,” Nesbit said.

Many residents ask themselves the same question and wonder why the LAPD set off the illegal fireworks in their total containment ship in the middle of the neighborhood. This vehicle was completely destroyed by the explosion.

“I hope that we as a church can get help with the repairs that lie ahead to repair the damage. I also hope this will raise awareness, start fires and cause damage across the city, “Nesbit said.

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