Mobile home residents evacuated after explosive materials found

Mobile home residents evacuated after explosive materials found

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Around 80 people are back in their homes in Orange County after deputies evacuated a mobile home park due to dangerous chemicals.

Orange County Firefighters and hazardous material specialists spent most of Wednesday afternoon and early evening at the Alafaya Palms Mobile Home Park to investigate an unknown substance.

Residents reported finding a jar containing the substance while cleaning a backyard shed around 10:30 in the morning.  Crews were dispatched to the home, located at 1849 La Crosse Avenue, where they found questionable material.

"We found them in large containers, bins and some were marked some were just in Tupperware and plastic bags," said Chief Rich Reynolds with Orange County Fire Rescue.

About 50 homes were evacuated, and nearby Corner Lake Middle School was established as a temporary shelter for the displaced residents.  

Kristen Tomlinson said deputies knocked on her door at around 11 o'clock in the morning, "Just told us we need to evacuate, there was chemicals found and possible explosives and that was it."

Deputies said an elderly man who lived in the home died last week of natural causes.  Initially, it was unclear what the chemicals were being used for, so the Orange County Sheriff's Office contacted the FBI to the alert the bureau of their discovery.

A spokesman with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said that by late Wednesday evening,  the sheriff's Explosive Ordinance Division and firefighters rendered safe more than 40 pounds of the dangerous materials. 

Investigators believe the deceased man was a fireworks enthusiast who had chemicals for his own personal use and do not believe there were any criminal intentions.


FOX 35's Valerie Boey contributed to this report.


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