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Attorney Looks To Delay Burning of Escondido ‘Bomb Factory’ Home

Audio

Aired 12/8/10

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said an Escondido house that contains bomb-making compounds will be burned Thursday instead of Wednesday.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said an Escondido house that contains bomb-making compounds will be burned Thursday instead of Wednesday.


Behind these trees on the left is the home containing explosive compounds. The Escondido home is set to be burned Thursday morning
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Above: Behind these trees on the left is the home containing explosive compounds. The Escondido home is set to be burned Thursday morning

Officials said an inversion layer would spread smoke horizontally from the burning house over a wider area.

But the layer is expected to be gone Thursday.

San Diego County Sheriffs Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said bomb technicians will prepare the house that morning.

"They're going to make the structure itself act as a chimney," Caldwell said. "So they're going to ensure that the house starts at a very high, hot fast burn, consumes those hazardous materials within the first hour. Then it's simply a structure fire they will monitor."

She said burning the home is the best way to destroy the highly unstable explosive compounds, which will be vaporized by the fire.

Some neighborhood residents will be evacuated and nearby Interstate-15 will be closed in both directions for at least two hours.

San Diego County air quality officials say the smoke and any ash from the burning home is minimal compared to recent wildfires in the county.

Caldwell said the house is scheduled to be burned between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday.

Alan Landsman has lived in the neighborhood of well-kept homes for 12 years.

He said he's not worried about the controlled burn of the house just 300 yards away from his home.

"I have a lot of confidence in the government that's taking care of this for me," said Landsman as he worked in his garage. "I'm not worried about it because the law enforcement response has been so overwhelming that I feel as though I'm in good hands."

"And that's why I'm relaxed," he added with a smile.

Prosecutors say George Jakubec was running a virtual bomb-making factory in the Escondido home. He has pleaded not guilty.

Caldwell said the inside of the home is a cluttered mess of floor-to-ceiling junk and explosives that included 13 unfinished shrapnel grenades.

Bomb experts previously pulled out about nine pounds of explosive material and detonated it.

Nearby residents who have been told to evacuate are asked to do so Wednesday evening.

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