Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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California officials destroy explosive-filled home

Explosive Filled House

Smoke rises as officials burn a mobile home where more than 60 pounds of highly volatile explosive material was found, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Redding, Calif. Sheriff's Lt. Dave Kent said the materials in the house were too unstable for deputies to even walk on the property without risking a blast. (AP Photo/The Record Searchlight, Andreas Fuhrmann)

By
From page A4 | February 17, 2014 | 10 Comments

REDDING — Sheriff’s deputies in far Northern California on Sunday successfully incinerated a mobile home whose resident had amassed more than 60 pounds of highly volatile explosive material days after evacuating dozens of people living nearby.

The chemicals, gunpowder, primers for firearms cartridges and other materials found in the house in a sparsely populated area of Redding earlier this month made it too unstable for deputies to even walk on the property without risking a blast, Shasta County sheriff’s Lt. Dave Kent said.

Sheriff’s officials consulted with water and air quality officials before starting the incineration with a remote-ignited flame at midday Sunday, and the fire went off without incident, he said.

“What’s left of the residence is still smoldering, so now we are in a cool-off period before officials can render that property safe for other residents to come back,” Kent said. “No other homes outside of that property caught fire, so that was very good for us and for the residents.”

Authorities had been waiting for the weather to clear before incinerating the home, and Sunday’s clear skies provided good conditions. It could be up to 24 hours before authorities can go onto the property to check the area, and once they determine it is safe, evacuees will be let back in, Kent said.

“We’re taking every precaution to make sure the property is rendered safe,” he said.

The mandatory evacuations around the residence began Feb. 7 and were expanded on Friday, bringing the total to about 46 homes under evacuation orders, Kent said.

Authorities found the combustible material on Feb. 6 after responding to an explosion at the home that took off a man’s hand.

The resident, identified as D. Ray East, 63, lost his left hand above the wrist, broke his right elbow and injured his right eye in the blast, Kent said.

East told investigators he was making fuel for model rockets. He was hospitalized but has since been released and is at a hotel where authorities can contact him, but he has not been arrested, Kent said.

East’s attorney, Jeffrey Stotter, told the Record Searchlight of Redding last week that East regrets the inconvenience he has caused his neighbors but doesn’t think the materials at his home pose a threat.

The sheriff’s office and local officials disagreed. The Shasta County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an emergency declaration, and the sheriff’s office expanded the evacuation area to a radius of 2,000 feet from the house.

The Red Cross set up an evacuation center, but officials said most of the displaced residents were staying with friends or family.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 10 comments

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 17, 2014 - 7:04 am

    Redneck Central. This should be no surprise in this Conservative-piled town. Further investigation would likely prove this to be the rule rather than the exception.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FDCFebruary 17, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Leave it to you, CD, to raise a straw man and fling mud where there is nothing to back up your nastiness. Or have you amassed some more of your magical "research"? I could just as easily have accused the DNC, also without cause.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 17, 2014 - 8:03 am

    FDC, cool your jets Sir. I was speaking to what I thought was common knowledge. After all, that's Sheriff Lopey territory right, the Constitutional friggin Tea Party Sheriff's town? Don’t all these folks have arsenals and explosives piled up all over the place? I'm not surprised at your feigned distress over this.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FDCFebruary 17, 2014 - 8:23 am

    CD, once again you stepped in it. No, Redding is not Sheriff Lopey's territory. Your magical "research" failed you once again. And perhaps one day you will discover that the county sheriff is the only law enforcement officer anywhere that is elected by the people, not appointed or hired by political hacks. The Democrat hacks running the state of Delaware are even trying to eliminate the position of sheriff since the sheriff answers to the people and the Constitution, not the career politicians. I guess maybe the subtleties of the situation probably would escape a Democrat toady. And again, you raise a straw man with your charge of "arsenals and explosives." But keep on digging, CD, the hole is getting deeper.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 17, 2014 - 8:46 am

    FDC, well heck man, I figure everything from Red Bluff to the Oregon border is red neck central so I'll go with my original thought. Thanks for correcting my geography but I know many people living throughout the area and they are all very Conservative.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithFebruary 17, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    And as CD's exhustive research has borne out time after time, CONSERVATIVE = REDNECK. By the way, what's wrong with pursuing the hobby of model rocketry?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 17, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    Mr. Smith, not necessarily but in that region totally accurate. HA! HA! LOVE me some model rocketry! :)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensFebruary 17, 2014 - 6:23 pm

    Brooks sounds like another of you typical California white southerner haters---this as gunfire erupts in his neighborhood.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Salty DogFebruary 17, 2014 - 11:17 pm

    I say it is very typical of the likes of CD and the liberal left wing loony democrats to resort to name calling and slanderous racial statements. about a story they know nothing about. But that is ok in the upside down politically correct world we live in

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895February 18, 2014 - 5:43 am

    That's good, you accusing "looney left wing liberal democrats" of name-calling.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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