The booms heard across Echo Park and Silver Lake

Photo by Five Furlongs/Flickr

The pre-Fourth of July fireworks that traditionally rattle the Eastside appear to have gotten off to an especially noisy start in parts of Echo Park and Silver Lake, with a huge boom rattling windows and setting off car alarms Sunday night near Allesandro Street and the 2 Freeway. The blast heard at about 10 p.m. sent some residents rushing out of their homes to take a look, said one resident via email:

You could feel the shock-wave hit you in your chest, and it shook our house. All of our neighbors came outside to look around but nothing was amiss aside from some cars a few blocks away whose alarms were going off. It was much like a firework but more powerful than any I had felt or heard in the past.

Another resident said it sounded “like someone is breaking the sound barrier, firing cannon or like a friggin meth lab exploded.

A Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said there were no reports of explosions last night in the Echo Park and Silver Lake area. Officials with the LAPD Northeast Division, which patrols the area, could not be reached for comment.

Last night’s large blasts preceded other big explosions in recent days, including some heard in the Eagle Rock area, according to a resident named Matt who lives near Develan Drive and the 2 Freeway. “Is it me or has it sounded a lot like Beirut around the Eastside this weekend? Lots of fireworks … small arms … M80 or larger ordinance going off.”

Meanwhile, on the border of Silver Lake and East Hollywood, a resident named Ezra who lives on Marathon Street said he saw numerous red flares shoot up into the sky near Normal and Madison avenues during the past week. Ezra wonders if others have seen and heard the flares:

I‘ve seen the smoke and heard the booms–which are much louder then a gun or rifle shot. That being said, last night (Thurs, June 14th) I heard about 7 at even intervals, followed by what sounded like a rifle shot. I couldn’t help but think that the flares might be desensitizing you to the sound so the gun shots would go unreported… have you or anyone of your contributors noticed this?

If previous years are any guide, expect the booms, bangs and exploding flares to quiet down after July 4th.

Related Post:

  • Pop, pop, pop: Were those firecrackers or gunshots? The Eastsider


  1. I live in El Sereno (University Hills) and have been hearing this since April. Fireworks are set off nightly and sometimes at late as midnight. I have literally jumped out of my seat a few times because the BOOM was so loud. Its getting pretty ridiculous.

  2. Heard quite clearly on Mt. Washington over the past week.

  3. As a fellow ES resident, i agree this has been going on for weeks now. I wouldnt mind but it scares the crap out of my dog.

    This year it seems they started earlier than normal.

  4. The sound last night (10 pm) at Allesandro & the 2 freeway was extremely loud – my house shook! I don’t see any way this could be anything related to fireworks. It was a completely different sound, and it was one loud boom.

  5. Glad you guys covered this. I thought it was either fireworks or something that happened on the 2. There was a police cruiser down on Whitmore later in the night – figured it was connected.

    Definitely much much louder than your average firework.

  6. I am so glad that you guys covered this because these fireworks are causing a serious disturbance in our household. We live right on the border of Eagle Rock and Highland Park and every night I have to crank up the music to ridiculous levels to hide the booms from our two dogs who are horrified by the fireworks.It is getting intolerable. We are new homeowners to this area and it is getting to the point where as much as I am loving this area, it is making us seriously question our decision to buy a home here.
    There is so much about the Northeast that I love but this is out of control. Every night for the past 3 weeks our night is ruined.
    It is my understanding that fireworks are illegal in the LA area, they are a serious fire hazard, especially in our area due to the wooden houses and hillside shrubs. I wish the city would impose some serious fines to the offenders. Put up signs, something!
    I am at a loss when it comes to this issue.

  7. I live in Highland Park and have been hearing it way too often now. I saw some disneyland type fireworks shooting through the air on my block.

  8. Relax and be happy it’s just fireworks and not gunshots.

    • Fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles because of our arid climate and density of population. It is simply too dangerous and high risk.

      Sadly, it will take a home or a school to burn down before the police will begin to enforce the law.

      If you are a parent allowing your kids to use fireworks, you should be held accountable for fines and/or property damage…

  9. NorthEast LA has always had random fireworks in the days leading up to the 4th of July, but this year has been crazy. I’ve seen some seriously professional grade, Rose Bowl quality fireworks going off over the last few weeks.

  10. We’re in Montecito Heights and have been hearing (what I’ve assumed were) fireworks going off near or at Dodgers Stadium for at least the past several weeks, if not longer. That said, the last handful of nights the occurrences have been arguably more frequent and louder. I’ll take HB’s advice for now, though–if, in fact, this is the case.

  11. i thought it was gun shots last night because they were right on top of one another, bam bam bam! could see the smoke rising in the air. dont mind them except my german shepherd turns into a big old baby and tries to squeeze into small spaces like under the bed. but its his reaction that always lets me know its fireworks and not guns, so i guess thats good.

  12. @Chauncey: You are so ignorant!

  13. My dogs spent the last few nights cowering in the bath tub. Can’t say it’s personally disturbing, the late night Dodgers Fireworks are the loudest and most annoying of anything I’ve heard.

  14. Love the fireworks wouldn’t be NE without them.

  15. Every night in HP

  16. I live right near Debbi (Alessandro and Fargo) and the boom was definitely NOT a firework. I have heard the same noise, often in the evenings, but never this loud. The boom did not correlate with a flash which would lead me to think its LADWP…

  17. 51 Years Resident

    Both my husand and I were so relieved to read these posts. We are so pissed off at all of the noise created by these illegal fireworks. Unfortunately those who are breaking the law could care less about these posts or those who do respect the quality of life for other Silver Lake/Echo Park/Highland Park residents. Including our dogs.
    Unfortunately what may dampened the joy of this crap are property fires in these very dry hills. If fires break out due to these illegal fireworks and homes are destroyed or damaged, maybe then local politicians will pay attention to these small but extremely troubling threats to our quality of life. And our pets. And what is up with the Dodgers?! Why so many freaking firework nights?! It’s ridiculous and only feeds into this madness of those who celebrate illegally. We are facing another summer of severe drought conditions yet the idiots in city hall and our local reps do nothing about this. We can’t expect to take our police and fire department away from really serious issues. They’re already stressed to the limit.
    I have personally gone to the homes of some of the offenders on my block and said I was only going to warn them once before I called the police. And it worked. But I don’t recommend just anyone doing that. It is a personal risk. But I have friends at Northeast. But if you can figure out where the violators are hanging out, call the local police station. Don’t call 911 if it’s just notification. If they can, they will send a patrol car out to investigate.

  18. The sound in Silver Lake/Echo Park last night was definitely NOT fireworks, I have been right underneath huge firework displays and this was easily twice as loud and powerful sounding, something very serious went down last night, what was it?!

    • SquiggleySpooch

      I heard the same exact sound on the previous Sunday too. I have recently read about sonic boom earthquakes that don’t shake, maybe it was something underground like that? Or like Andrew said LADWP. Either way, I agree that it’s something other than a firework, no flash of light, no crackles or whistling and no residual smell or smoke in the air. It sounded so huge it had to be close so those things surely would’ve been there. I called the NE division police and they didn’t know anything and didn’t offer to investigate. *shrugs shoulders*.

  19. Hey Squigs, I am wondering if it is some sort of cover up, since there has been no investigation? Maybe a massive failure by the city on something underground? This was a sound like I have never heard. I was wondering if it was an earthquake as well, but the sound was so loud and the shock wave that followed not only shook the house but hit me in my stomach really hard.

    • SquiggleySpooch

      Something happened on Allesandro a couple weeks ago, I’m not exactly sure but I think a water main burst and the road was all jacked up and broken from it. It was an emergency, they had to come out asap to fix it. I didn’t feel any shaking from the boom, whereabouts do you live? I’m off of Allesandro by the 2 and only heard it.

      • I am located right in that same area, but closer to oak glen pl. It felt like I got punched in the stomach, the shock came a split second after the sound.

        • Interesting you live right where that incident was with that water main breaking or whatever and you actually felt it, not just heard it. I’m on loma vista and my house didn’t shake, just heard it. Most are chalking it up to fireworks, I’m still skeptical.

  20. We live right at the 2 and Glendale & have heard this loud house shaking boom for the 2nd time last night. Don’t worry- it is only fireworks. You could see the bright white light out our window & the smoke over Oak Glen that crosses over the 2. Dont worry neighbors!

  21. Wait, our police knew nothing about it? I guess the explosion wasn’t in the 7/11 parking lot.

  22. Just heard another one near Bellevue Park in Silver Lake, and it’s been happening pretty regularly over the past months or so. I’d say, based on everyone else’s reports, it wasn’t the same just because it wasn’t as powerful or window-shattering or what-not. But it was certainly boom-bastic!

  23. I thought for a moment that a truck had hit the bearing wall on the 2. There was an impact feel – super intense.

  24. Just to clarify, I didn’t SEE red flares, just the sound and the black ball of smoke hanging in the air above Normal/Madison area. It sounded like a flare because it didn’t sound like fireworks I was familiar with, and I could never see any sparks. I really do hope it was just fireworks.

  25. Just got word that this was military testing of new supersonic drones.

    • SquiggleySpooch

      What? no, for real? I feel like i might be being gullible 🙂 Any more info, where’d you hear that?

  26. FIREWORKS ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. I have been wondering what the random “shots” are too. That night was not like the others. As of late though there have been single booming sounds, and they break the air like gunshots in E.Hollywood. I can’t find any information on the police websites/updates…*sigh* I’m happy, I’m not the only one!

  28. Oddly enough, It’s 2:40 in the afternoon and as I was reading this article and someone just set off some fireworks on my block. Definitely not gunshots. It’s sunny out, why bother!

    • They don’t set them off for the display, just the noise, because they’re ignorant. I’m writing this in Dec 2015 and illegal fireworks still ignored by police.


    FOR THE “IT’S ONLY FIREWORKS”* MENTALITY: I hope that was a tongue-in-cheek comment; that way, maybe you will swallow it and the EMTS and the fire trucks won’t be available to save you from choking because they are busy fighting fires due to “only” fireworks.

    That being said, please, everyone, have a happy, safe and sane Fourth so there’s someone left to argue with!

  30. Aint Fireworks. Aint gunshots. Its either LADWP fucking up down below or just aliens. I also have been feeling mini earthquakes a lot lately. But those booms are WAY to loud to be fireworks. What are they?!?!?!

  31. Has anyone called the police to ask what it might be? I have heard it as well near Glassell Park. Are they digging to connect the 2 to the 710?

  32. I’ve been hearing these nearly nightly from the Junction area above Sunset. Tonight , in particular, there was a really loud one. Frankly, I don’t see how there’s not a definite explanation for explosion sounds in a residential neighborhood!

  33. TRUST ME….THE POP POP POP are gunshots occuring more and more frequently after 11pm around the 2 fwy and Riverside or Alessandro..I live just up on the west side of the fwy in Silverlake and it’s getting ridiculous…freaks my two chihuahuas out, and me!


  35. It appeared to be a car explosion, just off Glendale Blvd, on Apex. Firefighters responded within a minute (fast!) and did some sawing (?) as the car continued to spark and boom – I have no other details, was hoping there would be a full story here.

    Thankfully, it didn’t appear anyone was hurt – LAFD calmly put the fire out and left about an hour later.

  36. Crazy like shockwave impact sound outside my resident followed by another louder explosion near cypress park and 26th street n idell street I’m shocked it sounded like a métier hit the ground about 30min ago but there is nothing going on outside strange

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