Investigators are sharing new images of what they discovered inside the Chapparal Dr. home filled with explosives.
The home, just west of Redding, was burned to the ground as a safety precaution in mid-February after the homeowner, D-Ray East, blew his hand off in an explosion Feb. 6.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said the explosive material was kept in the master bedroom turned experimental workbench.
“In fact, the explosion, when it occurred, that caused his serious injury, occurred in the master bedroom,” Bosenko said.
A makeshift laboratory covered the back porch. Various chemicals and electrical equipment were all used by East to make HMTD, a highly volatile and unstable chemical sensitive to shock, friction, and heat.
“When he made it, he made it in roughly 2 oz. batches,” Bosenko said. “And he admitted to having 5 cottage cheese cartons that contained 2 oz. each of HMTD.”
A ground level camera was set up to get video of burn on Feb. 16. It shows bursts of flame, clouds of smoke, explosions, even a projectile shooting up.
Meanwhile, a California Highway Patrol plane circled overhead for an aerial view.
The burn went as planned, due in part to what the Sheriff called “perfect weather conditions”.
East claimed he was making rocket fuel, but deputies say there were no rocket parts to indicate that, but there weren’t any bomb-making materials either, or any ammunition reloading equipment to account for thousands of primers and black powder.
Sheriff Bosenko was pleased no nearby outbuildings or homes were damaged, and very grateful nobody else was hurt.
“We may never know exactly what his intent was,” Bosenko said. “But very fortunately no life was lost from the first responders that were there or neighbors.”
D-Ray East is still recovering.