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Sheriff gives new details into Chaparral burn

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Feb 17 2014 08:49:50 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 17 2014 11:00:07 PM CST
bosenko
REDDING, Calif. -

On Monday afternoon the Shasta County Sheriff detailed information in the incineration of the home on Chaparral Drive.

"Very, very lucky that this whole place didn't go up in a huge explosion," said Bosenko as he addressed a crowd of media and residents of Chaparral Drive from the Board of Supervisors chambers.

Bosenko described the volatile situation surrounding the home of 64-year-old D Ray East.

On Sunday there were towering flames coming from the house as it was purposely set on fire around 11:45 a.m. after officials and bomb technicians decided incineration was the safest way to handle the explosives inside.

Bosenko said there were times during the fire that bomb technicians were asked to take cover.

"These explosions were at the level above the magnitude of a normal house fire," explained Bosenko.

On Monday, 9021 Chaparral Drive was still smoldering, and red wiring used to ignite the burn was still visible.

Bosenko said three outbuildings and vehicles that belonged to East were saved.

However all the contents in his home were destroyed.

Investigators can't say what caused the initial explosion that caused East to lose a hand, lose sight in one eye, and suffer a broken arm, 11 days ago; Bosenko has said there were large amounts of the substance HMTD.

"Which is a very sensitive and volatile substance," said Bosenko.

Among pounds of other substances including Tanerite, mercury, black powder and sulfur, even an improvised explosive device.

East told investigators he was making rocket fuel.

However Bosenko said he's doubtful of those claims.

The sheriff said there are no toxic chemicals in the air and how much the whole operation costs is unknown right now.

The county asked the state for money but was denied.

The charges East could potentially face are being reviewed by the District Attorney's Office.