Eureka Police Reportedly Evacuating a Block on F St.
UPDATE 2:40 P.M.: Sgt. Steve Watson of the Eureka Police Dept. gave details of the bomb that was detonated earlier today by the Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Bomb squad. According to the sergeant, a resident of a home in the Hodgson and F St. area called Eureka Police at 8:15 A.M. and described a possible bomb left near some shrubbery in their yard. Eureka officers quickly responded to the scene (8:23 A.M.) There they found a suspicious bag that after examining it–without touching–they determined to be a suspected explosive device. By 8:30, they called for the Humboldt Co. Sheriff bomb squad.
While awaiting the experts in explosives, Eureka police notified the neighbors. They evacuated houses in the immediate vicinity. Others in the surrounding area were made aware of the hazard. A number of citizens chose to evacuate. Watson said there was about a half dozen that chose to leave.
Officers then partitioned off F and Hodgson for about a block each direction. The bomb squad arrived. They x-rayed the device.
At 10:55, the squad remote detonated the device with Watson called “one of cannons that they use for that situation.” He declined to release specific details as he did not want to jeopardize the investigation. This caused “a fair little boom.” Part of the sound was a result of the detonating device but part was the result of the bomb.
The explosion ignited a small fire. The device that Watson called a “working firebomb” was connected to a fuel source and rigged to go off. Watson again declined to release investigative details. He did say the fuel source ignited. It did start a fire. There was some damage to the yard. Because of the way it was detonated by bomb technicians though, Watson believes, it was less potent. Fortunately, Watson says, “No one was hurt.”
Sgt. Watson explained, “We respond to these kind of things very often. These days people have a heightened sense of this. [While these things are] usually harmless, we have still have to use due caution. This is one of those cases that it could have harmed a resident, responders, or passersby…. It could have seriously injured someone who set it off.”
Eureka Police, says Watson, “Don’t know if it was set for a specific house, that reporting party, or for first responders.” He says that “the home owners were smart not to manipulate it.”
At the time of this posting, officers are still collecting evidence and processing evidence. The situation is still under investigation.
UPDATE Noon: The Humboldt CO. Sheriff’s Dept. has confirmed that the Sheriff’s Department’s bomb squad is assisting the Eureka Police Dept. Channel 3 is reporting that there was a “working firebomb that was designed to cause great bodily harm” but the device has been neutralized.
Original post below:
Reports from witnesses say that Eureka Police have blocked off F St. near Henderson Center. Scanner traffic, while unclear, seems to indicate some sort of evacuation of residents is in process.
Eureka Police are unwilling to comment at this time but have promised a call back later. LoCO will update with details as soon as possible.