Found dynamite forces evacuations
December 5, 2012
At least three sticks of dynamite were found in the wall of a garage in the 300 block of Bath Street during a search Tuesday night.The search was brought on after an elderly man told Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong he had stored dynamite in the walls upward of 20 years ago, before he sold the property.Units were on scene at the house, which has been unoccupied for the past six months, around 2:50 p.m. Tuesday. Responders began to pry back the plywood in the garage when a suspicious, tube-shaped package fell at their feet, Furlong said. The Consolidated Bomb Squad, manned by officers from the Truckee Meadows and elsewhere, was called in to assist the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad.The responders requested diesel fuel and doused the package before it was confirmed to be three sticks of dynamite.The four houses immediately in the area, on Bath and Division streets, were evacuated and a 150-foot perimeter was being maintained, Furlong said. He said those who were evacuated were expected to return home this morning.The exact age of the dynamite is unknown but it is believed to be as old as 40-50 years. The danger in old dynamite is when it crystallizes, making the substance much more sensitive to shocks and friction.As of late Tuesday evening, law enforcement still was taking X-rays of the walls to determine if more dynamite was in the house. The three sticks of dynamite that have been found will only be moved after the rest of the house has been cleared of explosives, so they can all be transported at once, Furlong said.The man told the sheriff he used to store the dynamite behind plywood he screwed in. When responders inspected the walls they found the plywood but it was nailed in. The elderly man told the sheriff he was not sure which wall he had put the dynamite in.The dynamite, rehydrated by the diesel fuel, will be taken to an empty field and burned.Furlong said, “It’s not common” for dynamite to be found in a house, “but it’s not unexpected.” He said many years ago, dynamite was stored by private citizens in a myriad of different places.According to Furlong criminal charges are not anticipated, and the identity of the reporting person is not being immediately released.