Monday, August 21, 2006

stealing my brother's story

but he doesn't have a blog, so I hope he forgives me. He did tell it better than I will.

My brother is on the fire department for a very small town. It's all volunteer except for the fire chief. So he's sitting home yesterday morning with his call radio on and it starts crackling.

"dispatch, we have a potential dynamite threat at a yard sale."

long pause.

"call the fire department!" They did and my brother was called out along with rural fire and every fire department for sixty miles around and two bomb threat units from larger cities.
so yeah. there was dynamite at a yard sale. Two and a half sticks. Over sixty years old. Apparently this makes dynamite very unstable. So does the completely corroded metal between the blasting caps and the nitro.

So the fire department shows up and they start trying to evacuate people and no one wants to leave. The police department had to threaten them with jail to get them to get out of their houses and get out of the area already. There were fire fighters and bomb sniffing dogs all over the place. The big city sent a news crew who filmed as long as they could before they had to go to make the five o'clock news. (it's five o'clock news here on Sunday.)

The dynamite was brought to the yard sale by a family that lives several miles out of town. They decided to participate in a multifamily sale so they had gone out to the barn, loaded up all the old stuff, and brought it in to town packed in the back of a pick up. It was hidden in a Korean War era back pack and they had no idea it was even there.

So they finally get the civilians cleared out enough to do something. My brother made a sled out of plywood for the dynamite to be pulled to the middle of the street on. Apparently, you don't want to carry around unstable dynamite close to your body. huh. who'd of thunk?

They separated the blasting caps from the sticks and proceeded to make a nitro bonfire. My learning something new yesterday was discovering you can burn nitro glycerin without it exploding. The blasting caps were set in a sandbag bunker (just a small thing) and set off with plastic explosives. Just a little bit. The bomb squad was explaining how they were going to do it and said the sand should absorb most of the explosion. It shouldn't been too big anyway. So he suits up in his hazmat suit and carefully carries the blasting caps in front of him at arms length, slowly scooting forward a bit at a time. He places the caps, gives them wide berth and sets them off.

BOOM! huge explosion. Sand blasts straight up thirty feet. Everyone is looking just a bit dazed and the hazmat guy says "that was a bit bigger than I expected."

So ended the Big Event of the Year for my hometown. It will be a story for everyone for a long time. You might hear it in person sometime, after all, who can resist telling about the time there was dynamite sold at a yard sale.

5 comments:

MamaBug said...

Amy, that's just crazy! And a great story. Thanks for sharing. :)

Helena said...

Amazing. Lots of excitement for a little town!

Cathy B said...

I am glad you told it. Since I missed the birthday party I would have missed the story as well.

Don the Younger said...

She did a good job of telling the story and got most of the things right.

The details aren't important. I linked the tv stations story to fark.com and it made the main page :)

If you don't get your news from Fark, don't worry about it, your favorite morning DJ probably does it for you ;)

Jared of the Glen said...

OK!! How come nobody told *me* about this one? I talked to Nicole yesterday and she didn't say anything about it!