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Hundreds of fireworks seized from former bridal shop

At the end of summer’s first holiday, police in Lackawanna County found a building full of something often used during a different type of patriotic display.

OLYPHANT, Pa. — Police carried out a search warrant at a building in Olyphant on Monday afternoon, recovering enough fireworks to fill a two-ton trailer more than twice.

Olyphant Police posted up outside Sullum’s on West Lackawanna Avenue, an old bridal shop building downtown that permanently closed years ago. 

The police chief told Newswatch 16 that the rear door of the building was hanging wide open, and officers saw fireworks stacked inside Monday morning. Hours later, police obtained a search warrant for the building. 

One by one, officers carried out armfuls of consumer-grade fireworks, loading boxes of different shapes and sizes into the back of a trailer. Authorities seized several rooms full of fireworks, loading up hundreds of pounds. 

Chief James DeVoe said the owner claims all the fireworks belong to her, but they were all stored illegally.

"You can have them in Pennsylvania, but you need a license to sell or store them," he said. "You can’t store them in a building like this. So it’s actually kind of risking catastrophe here."

Police called in volunteers from the local fire department to help load the merchandise. The trailer was stacked full and pulled away, escorted by two Olyphant police cruisers. 

At that point, two more rooms inside Sullum’s were still full of fireworks. Crews returned to fill a second trailer, then a third.

DeVoe told Newswatch 16 he does expect to charge the owner of this property, but there’s no word on what those charges may be or when they will be filed. 

A neighboring business owner, watching as police loaded up the mass of fireworks, said he’s glad the building never caught on fire.

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