Raid uncovers huge fireworks cache at Plymouth house
Authorities spent about eight hours removing fireworks from a Sandy Beach Road house where a similar raid took place in 1990 and where a fire six months later had some people in the neighborhood thinking there had been a nuclear explosion.
“There were enough fireworks to fill a box cargo van,” Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Murphy said of the house at 215 Sandy Beach Road.
The State Police fire and explosion investigation unit arrived at the single-family house shortly after 8:30 p.m. Monday.
The fireworks were stored mainly in the basement, but some were found in other parts of the house, Murphy said.
Robert A. Rinaldi, 57, and Ernestine Rinaldi, 82, are listed at the address in the Plymouth residents list.
State Police and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the house on July 6, 1990, finding about $125,000 worth of illegal fireworks there. That raid was prompted by a report that fireworks bought from the Rinaldis caused an explosion that cost a Sandwich man three of his fingers.
Six months after the raid, Robert Rinaldi was burned over 90 percent of his body when a fire started at the house and ignited a trailer full of fireworks. The trailer was destroyed and a neighbor’s house was knocked off its foundation.
Several people in the neighborhood left their homes when they heard the explosions during the fire. They later told authorities that they thought there had been an accident at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant.
Robert Rinaldi and his mother, Ernestine, each pleaded guilty to 18 charges of illegal possession of fireworks in 1991. They were both placed on probation for two years and fined $500.
Don Conkey is at firstname.lastname@example.org.