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Explosives Demolition Gets Early Start

The destruction of some old unstable explosives in Happy Valley is considered a success. Last Monday Redding Police Investigators following a lead from burglary and explosives cases discovered the large amount of plastic explosives, detonators and hundreds of pounds of TNT stashed in an old barn off of Happy Valley Road. Last Tuesday everyone within a half-mile was evacuated, including Happy Valley Elementary School, as about 150 pounds of the material was carried by the bomb squad to a different location and blown up. At least another 200 pounds was considered too unstable to risk the move. Dynamite becomes more unstable with age, and these materials are believed to be from the 1950s and 60s. On Saturday the Bomb Squad blew up some more explosives of the type that can’t be destroyed by fire. Monday the rest of the materials were to be set on fire at noon, but they started a little early. After the residents of 90 homes were cleared out, the fire was started at 10:45. There were several explosions, including some large blasts, according to Sheriff’s Captain Dave Kent. The fire and explosions brought down several outbuildings, but the house itself remained standing. The current owners just bought the property about 4 months ago and had begun remodeling the place, though their remodeling probably didn’t start out quite the way they had planned it.