Tests Show Air Quality Unchanged, Soil Cleanup Completed
January 15, 2011 (Escondido)--Results of air quality and soil tests from the Escondido home that came to be known as the “Bomb Factory House” indicate that air quality was not adversely affected by the house’s destruction and that soil removal and cleanup of the property is now complete, San Diego County officials said Thursday.
State, County and local agencies teamed up to surgically burn down the home because it was the only safe way to remove the explosives and bomb-making material --- believed to be the largest stockpile of illegal homemade explosives ever found in U.S. history --- packed inside the house.
Air quality sampling taken before, during and after the house at 1954 Via Scott was burned showed that air quality remained unchanged and at typical good-to-moderate levels for the Escondido area. Air sampling also showed that particulate matter remained at typical levels. Soil sampling results indicate that the cleanup is complete and no further action is required. County officials notified the landowner that the property was safe Wednesday.
The property owner, Michele Holt, has filed a claim with the County for the lost value of the burned home, however County officials have contended that destruction of the home was necessary to protect public safety and that no other safe means of removing the explosive materials was available. Supervisors are expected to decide later this month whether to accept or reject the claim; the owner may seek legal action.
The explosives were amassed by renter George Jakubec, who faces multiple charges related to the explosives as well as bank robberies.
Results of the testing can be reviewed at the San Diego County Emergency Homepage at www.sdcountyemergency.com/houseburn.html, or by visiting the County Department of Environmental Health website at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh and clicking on the link for the emergency homepage.