Location: 300 Block of South "W" Street, Porterville

Incident Date: 12-31-20

Incident Time: 2200Hrs

City: Porterville

Posted by: Media Relations

New Years Eve Explosion Critically Injures Man in Porterville, Explosive Devices Found

Just before 11 p.m on New Years Eve, the Tulare County Fire Department and EMT's were called to a home in the 300 block of South W Street in Porterville for a report of an explosion and residential fire. 38-year-old William Pearce suffered major injuries as a result of the explosion.

A preliminary search of the residence revealed multiple explosive devices. The Central Valley Regional Bomb Squad assumed the investigation. Some of the devices were described as pipe bombs. Other devices had sophisticated electronic components. It appeared the man was making his own explosive materials. 

The Bomb Squad rendered two devices safely and removed 16 other live explosive devices that are to be destroyed in a safe environment. 

Due to the location, it took the Bomb Squad 10 hours, over the span of two days, to safely remove the devices from the home. The Bomb Squad was assisted by the Visalia Fire HAZMAT team and Tulare County Fire personnel.

The suspect has been transferred out of county for medical treatment. The case has been submitted to the District Attorney for the following charge: PC 18720- Possession of a destruction device.