A large plume of white smoke followed a triggered explosion of a can of black gun powder that was found in a World War I footlocker by a Ripon woman cleaning out her aged father’s collection of military items in his rural shed at his home in the foothills.
The San Joaquin County Bomb Squad detonated the powder about 3 p.m. Thursday after Dina Perkins was contacted by her father from his home in Coarse Gold and said there might be gun powder in the foot locker that could be volatile due to its age – a warning she took seriously.
The can of powder was in a metal case meant for rifle rounds and she took it down to the gun shop in Ripon asking what she should do with it – saying he clerk immediately closed the lid of the can when he saw the contents and told her to take it to the police department. She said she drove home and put her car in the driveway with police and fire units responding to her call.
Robert Avenue was blocked off with Ripon Police and Sheriff’s units and a fire engine keeping traffic away from the home until the bomb squad arrived. Bomb Unit Commander from Manteca Police Sgt. Gregg Beall responding to the scene.
A Sheriff’s robot approached the car in her driveway and cautiously took the gun powder off the passenger side of the front seat and deposited it a safe distance away.
As neighbors watched from afar from their front yards an hour later, a bomb squad officer shouted the traditional warning: “Fire in the hole, three, two, one!” and the explosion followed with a large plume of white smoke rising skyward.
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