More than a dozen homes in a Northern California neighborhood were evacuated Thursday after emergency responders found hundreds of military explosives inside the residence of a 70-year-old man who died of apparent natural causes.
Investigators in Stockton didn’t immediately know how the man came to possess the explosives, FOX 40 of Sacramento reported.
Following the discovery by Stockton police and paramedics around 9:10 a.m., a police bomb squad and personnel from Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield responded to the scene, the station reported.
“They just left about an hour ago just because of how many types of devices are still in the home, they had to go back and get additional personnel,” Stockton police Officer Joe Silva told FOX 40 Thursday evening.
An estimated 20 surrounding homes were evacuated, with residents gaining access to a Red Cross shelter set up at a local community center, The Record of Stockton reported.
Street closures in the area also were in effect, according to a Stockton police Facebook post.
The evacuations were a precaution because of the high number of devices found at the scene, Silva said.
“You have to look at each device, determine if it’s live or not and then figure out exactly how you’re going to move it out of the residence,” he told The Record.
Authorities didn’t immediately know if the deceased man had served in the military or if anyone else lived in the home, according to the newspaper.
One neighbor, Dale Boyd, described the man who died as a pleasant man who “never caused a problem.” But Boyd said he didn’t know the man well, The Record reported.