Minivan explodes in Montclair neighborhood, knocking out power to area; FBI investigating

Local news

The FBI has joined the investigation into a minivan explosion that caused a brief power outage in a Montclair residential neighborhood early Monday, police said.

The blast was reported just after midnight in the 4500 block of Kingsley Street. It briefly knocked out power to parts of the area, and residents thought the service outage was the result of a blown transformer, according to the Montclair Police Department.

But when officers responded to the scene, they found an unoccupied 2003 Dodge minivan with extensive damage, a police news release stated. Sky5 video showed the roof had been completely ripped off, with debris strewn about the middle of the road.

The destruction was determined to have been caused by an explosion that occurred within the passenger compartment area, officials said.

No injuries were reported, and there was no damage to any nearby structures or other vehicles.

Investigators believe multiple explosives were detonated, according to Lt. Brian Ventura.

There was no indication that the owners were involved in the explosion, but it’s not yet known whether they were specifically targeted, according to Montclair Police Chief Robert Avels.

“Right now we’re still trying to develop further information, but there are currently no suspect leads on this incident,” he said, adding that police “do believe there was some form of a crime” committed.

The area has since been deemed safe, and there didn’t appear to be any further cause for concern.

The Ontario bomb squad was dispatched to the location and notified the FBI. The federal law enforcement agency is helping Montclair police investigate the incident, something that Avels described as normal protocol “due to the nature of the explosion.”

Among the things they’ll try to determine is what exactly triggered the blast, the cause of which is still unknown.

“It could be a multitude of things. It’s really hard to say what it specifically was,” Avels said. “But it was something other than the vehicle itself that exploded with inside it and caused the damage.”

Authorities have obtained surveillance video from a nearby residence that they hope will provide clues about any possible suspects or a motive.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police at 909-621-4771.

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