Evacuation orders are in effect for people living near a Shasta County home that had more than 40 pounds of explosives. However, one family is staying put.
Monday evening marked the fifth night of a local state of emergency for the neighborhood near 9021 Chaparral Drive in Redding. Authorities say it is simply too dangerous for those people to be in their homes. Everyone living within a one thousand foot radius of the home were told to leave on Friday. Most people have obeyed those evacuation orders, but one family refused to leave.
“I’m putting my faith in these guys. They're bringing in the bomb squad and FBI and D.C. They have got the sheriff out here, they are not letting anyone in or out of here which makes me feel safe and secure,” said Steven Sparlin who lives on Chaparral Drive.
Steven and and his wife Nicole Sparlin live very close to the barricade set up by officers. On Thursday, 63-year-old D Ray East nearly blew his hand completely off while working with some type of explosive. When authorities went to investigate, they discovered more than they bargained for.
Law enforcement is calling the area dangerous and volatile. They also have no idea how long it will take to resolve the issue. The Sparlins said when they heard that, they decided to risk staying.
“I just wanted to be at my own home and get my belongings if I needed to,” said Nicole.
The family had to make some adjustments. Their children ages 13 and 11 cannot stay in the home, or they could wind up in the custody of Child Protective Services. Currently, they are staying with friends.
The Sparlins admit it isn't easy.
“It’s driving me crazy,” said Nicole.
However, they'll manage to get through it.
“I didn't see it coming from this part of town, honestly that's why we moved out here,” said Steven.
Steven said they don't plan on moving but they do regret not making the effort to meet all their neighbors.
“What if my kid was riding his bike down the road and that bomb went off and blew my kid away, so it does want me to get to know my neighbors a little better,” said Steven.
The Sparlins aren't alone, there are others who have chosen to stay in the estimated blast zone. Lieutenant Dave Kent with the Sheriff's Office said 25 homes have been evacuated, but they cannot force anyone to leave. However, once people do leave, the Sheriff's Office will not let them back in.
There is still no estimated time when the explosive material will be removed and when the evacuation order will be lifted. A new evacuation center has been set up at the National Guard Armory in Redding.
D Ray East is listed in fair condition at Mercy Medical Center in Redding.