Deafening sounds of erratic fireworks heard in downtown Los Angeles, leaving questions

Fireworks lit up the sky in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 21. (@dbowe44)


A mysterious barrage of fireworks exploded without warning in downtown Los Angeles over the weekend, startling many residents.

The Los Angeles Police Department responded to calls of possible fireworks in the area around 10:45 p.m., said Mike Lopez, a department spokesperson. By the time officers investigated, he said, they found no evidence of fireworks “or if there was, there was nobody arrested.”

What caught nearby resident Derek Bowe Jr. off guard was the boom he heard before the succession of fireworks Sunday night.


Bowe, who lives on the border of the Historic Core, Civic Center and Little Tokyo, was sitting on his building’s rooftop listening to music when the fireworks started to go off around 10:40 p.m.

“I literally thought a building had been hit by something and that missiles were being fired due to the sound,” Bowe said.

“So I was relieved, puzzled and irritated when I saw it was fireworks going off and not missiles,” he said.

Bowe said he doesn’t have any issues with fireworks but he does when they’re set off late in the evening and “with that intensity, it’s a bit much considering it wasn’t a holiday.”

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Rich Windisch, who saw the fireworks near downtown Los Angeles, said hearing random explosions isn’t entirely uncommon in the area. He thought the deafening noise was a car crash.

“Then the firework noise just kept going and going, so I went to the window to see it,” Windisch said.


The fireworks lasted about five minutes, he said, but what felt “off” about the incident was the fireworks weren’t choreographed like they typically are during a show.

Windisch said it seemed like too many of the explosions were going off at the same time, “which made me think it was an accident they were set off.”