Reporting Nick Janes
STOCKTON (CBS13) – Stockton firefighters watched a home burn to the ground. It’s all they could do after getting reports there could be explosives buried beneath the house.
Firefighters were called to an abandoned home on Palm Avenue near East Harding Way and West Lane before midnight.
When they arrived, neighbors warned firefighters they believed the home’s owner, who has been in jail, may have buried C-4 or plastic explosives under the home.
“He supposedly buried explosives under the house. He was trying to sell them around the neighborhood,” said neighbor George Perez. “I told firefighters about them but they said they weren’t worried because they would have to be electronically discharged.”
After discussing the possibility of explosives inside the home with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb squad firefighters decided the safest option was to step back and let the fire burn itself out.
The home burned throughout the night. Firefighters now believe the reports of explosives were false, but had to be extra cautious in fighting the blaze.
Investigators believe squatters were inside the abandoned home when it caught fire. Neighbors say the home has been a spot for drug use for years since the homeowner went to jail.
“I knew something was going to happend, call it a matter of wait and see,” said neighbor Deloris Foster, who was not sorry to see the home burn. “It looked like a party house. It was destroyed. There were holes in the walls.”
Neighbors suspect drug use was happening in the home recently.
Fire fighters say if there were any C-4 explosives under the house, they would have been destroyed by the fire.
The destroyed home will now be turned over to the city and county code enforcement for clean up.
Fire fighters have not officially announced the cause of the blaze.
No injuries were reported.