'Pyrotechnic device' detonates under firefighter's car in Northeast D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - Nearby residents were shaken - literally - early Tuesday morning when some sort of explosion took place on a Northeast D.C. street.

It is unclear if it was fireworks, a Molotov cocktail or some other type of powerful explosion, but something, appearing to be deliberate, went off at around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, rattling a Northeast neighborhood in more ways than one and damaging one car.

"I was in bed - it shook my house," said resident Nathaniel Bear. " I saw the black smoke, it sounded like a bomb."

Police responded to the call for the detonation on 49th Street, between Sheriff Road and Lee Street.

Investigators with D.C. police and fire swept the area with K-9 units and bomb technicians - and a "pyrotechnic device" was indeed found underneath the engine of a black Chrysler, which neighbors said belongs to a local firefighter.

"That's baffling," said neighbor Sean Hunt. "[It's usually] quiet around here, that is so out of the ordinary."

Detectives have spent hours combing through the inside and outside of the car. It does not appear anyone was injured in the blast, but there was extensive damage to the undercarriage of the car, including parts blown off and burn marks on the side. Even residue from the explosion remains in the area.

"[There was a] noise like fire crackers. I got on the floor," said resident Pat Hawkins.

Residents told ABC7 the young firefighter who owns the car and lives on the street is a good man, and a good neighbor. Everyone, including another firefighter who lives on the block, is now left wondering if the incident was a random act of violence, or if the firefighter was targeted.

"I really hope they figure out what is going on, there is a school around the corner," Hawkins added.