Evacuees leave Chaparral Drive; home to be incinerated

REDDING, Calif. - Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko held a news conference Thursday afternoon to release new information about the explosives found at a home on Chaparral Drive west of Redding.

Bosenko said due to the amount of materials found, authorities will destroy the home and several outbuildings on the property. The home could be incinerated as early as Sunday, February 16.

On Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. mandatory evacuations were expanded to a 2,000-foot radius of the home. Affected residents were advised to gather medications, personal effects, and clothing for a period of at least five days, as well as make arrangements for the care of animals.

"[We took] clothes, blankets, pillows, jewelry I can't replace, toys for the kids, just things like paperwork, birth certificates," said Meghan Marquez, who was evacuating Friday morning.

Marquez, her husband and their two children were figuring out where they were going next.

Joe Mlejneck lives within the evacuation zone with his 92-year-old friend who is on an oxygen tank.

Mlejneck said he's not leaving. 

"I'm not leaving, no," said Mlejneck.

"I don't feel it's that dangerous. If the gentleman was more than willing to help them, he could help them take stuff out of the place," he explained.

He said he has dogs and goats to take care of and is not going anywhere.

Anyone needing assistance with animals can call Shasta County Animal Regulation through SHASCOM dispatch at (530) 245-6540.

The original explosion happened Thursday, Feb. 6 at the home of D. Ray East, 64. Medics were called to the home after East had almost his entire hand blown off during an explosion.

Originally, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office estimated there were 40 pounds of explosive material on the property.  At Thursday's news conference Bosenko explained they had found more than 60 pounds of materials including hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), high-performance fuels and compounds to build a chlorate mixture, a military grade plastic explosive.

Investigators have said East told them he was building explosives designed to propel model rockets. East is in stable condition at the hospital but is not cooperating with investigators, Bosenko said.

He discussed the process of incinerating the property.

"By securing the area. We have to make an evaluation of the area, and what would be a safe option," said Bosenko. "That safe option is incineration of the home. Then, in development with our fire officials and bomb technicians and other members of county and federal groups, we develop a plan for that incineration. Then at some point, on or after the 16th of February, we'll execute that plan."

The neighborhood around East's home has been evacuated since Friday due to the danger of an explosion.

East has not been charged with any crime. Bosenko said it has yet to be determined whether charges will be filed at the local or federal level.

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