VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The Virginia Beach bomb squad and fire crews were called out to Shorehaven Drive late Friday morning for the discovery of discarded explosives.
According to Battalion Chief Amy Valdez, 42 sticks of dynamite were found in a building near Great Neck Park.
Valdez says homes in the area of the 2700 block of Shorehaven Drive and the 1400 block of Blue Heron Drive were evacuated, although she says there was no hazard. Police conducted a reverse 911 to notify residents.
Crews were expected to remain on scene for several hours and began clearing around 3:15 p.m., according to Valdez. They burned off each piece of dynamite separately to remove any potential danger.
COX High School and the nearby Great Neck recreation center were not in any danger.
Valdez said a robot would drop each dynamite in a hole, in case it exploded as it burned.
"I have a lot of lawn work to be doing and now I can't get to my home," Shorehaven Drive resident
John McCrory said.
Instead McCrory and dozens of Shorehaven Drive residents spent the afternoon waiting outside as bomb squads and fire officials surrounded their neighborhood. The thought of explosives had a lot people wondering just how they got there.
"It's a little crazy," resident Laurie Francis said. "I just don't understand why anyone would have a case of dynamite in their basement."
Fire officials say the dynamite was found in the outhouse near an old home on Shorehaven Drive. The dynamite was discovered, because the house was being cleared for an estate sale. Several residents tell WAVY.com the home had been vacant for years. McCrory grew up on Shorehaven Drive, and has an idea of why dynamite was at the home in the first place.
"It's old homestead, it's probably a hundred years old or so," McCrory said.
Back then he says it was common for people to buy dynamite at local hardware stores. "I'm sure they used the dynamite for clearing tree stumps and miscellaneous items ... and it was probably just stored in that shed," McCrory said.
Interestingly enough, McCrory once worked for previous owners of the home. He recalled moving the dynamite, but didn't know it was dangerous.
"I remember working for Mr. Bragg there," McCrory said. "I used to move that box around and I used to think it was just a box of flares, an old box of flares, because it wasn't really marked very well."
Last week, several residents attended an estate at the home where the dynamite was found, not knowing how close they were to potentially explosive dynamite.
"I mean the whole cul-de-sac was full of people here for the estate sale," resident Laurie Francis said. "It's interesting they could have been in great danger. It's scary to think about that my husband was there as well."
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