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Bomb squad accepting unwanted explosives

Shannon Litz

Shannon Litz

A December incident where sticks of dynamite were found stashed in the wall of a Carson City home presented a danger to an entire neighborhood.

An elderly man who forgot he stored the explosives inside at the home years ago could have caused damage to people’s property or even threatened lives, said Eric Guevin, spokesman for the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District.

The incident resolved safely, but it is just this type of situation that the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad is hoping to avoid with a new amnesty program for unwanted explosives.

People happening upon undetonated ordnance in their homes isn’t exactly a problem that comes up on a daily basis, but the fire department will occasionally have someone walk into its lobby with items like a bagful of unused fireworks or black powder, said Jim Antti, commander of the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad.

“We don’t expect a lot of business from this, but there are a lot of people that have old ammunition, fireworks or explosives that they don’t know what to do with,” Antii said.

He said, in most cases, the bomb squad will accept unwanted explosive material no questions asked. He emphasized people should not transport any explosives themselves to prevent an unexpected detonation.

“We don’t want people transporting anything,” Antii said.

Unless its an emergency, people who have explosive material they would like to get rid off should call the bomb squad at 775-588-3591 to schedule an appointment with a technician and determine the appropriate next step.

“If they think it’s an emergency, they should call 911,” Antii said.

The program is available to residents in Douglas County and the City of South Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad is not the bomb squad for El Dorado County residents, Antti said.