A 43-year-old man who was experimenting with flammable substances was hospitalized with serious burns this morning after a blast in Moreno Valley that also injured three children, a sheriff's sergeant said.
Deputies and firefighters responded around 2:15 p.m. Monday to a report of an explosion in the 10000 block of Via Pastoral, said Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Bob Epps.
Upon arrival, they found a man, later identified as Joseph Patricko, 43, of Monrovia, and three juveniles suffering from burns they sustained in an explosion, Epps said.
Patricko was taken to a regional burn center for treatment of severe burns, and the children were taken to a hospital where they were treated for moderate burns and released, Epps said.
The Riverside County sheriff's Hazardous Device Team assisted in the investigation and determined that Patricko "was experimenting with several flammable substances in front of the juveniles when the explosion occurred," Epps said.
Patricko will be booked on suspicion of child endangerment and illegally disposing of hazardous materials, he said.
Anyone with information about the case was urged to call sheriff's Deputy Rafael Cuevas of the sheriff's Hazardous Device Team at (951) 955-1700.