FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Police are investigating an explosive device that was found in a piece of furniture at a yard sale in a Federal Way neighborhood.
KOMO-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2cNwHPn ) that a bomb squad blew up the device Monday night. It was so powerful it shook homes for several blocks, set off car alarms and rattled windows.
Theo Butler, the man who found the device, says his mother-in-law left an armoire out during a yard sale, but it started to rain a few days so ago so they brought it inside.
The cabinet was empty before the sale, but they discovered inside a yellow propane tank with wires connected to it. Butler thought it was a bomb and called police.
Police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock says the Bomb Disposal Unit determined the device was a camp-stove size propane tank that contained black powder, a plastic cap and a long fuse. She says if the fuse had been lit, it most likely would have exploded. The bomb unit used its standard protocol to make the device safe.
Schrock says based on the investigation and interviews with witnesses and the family, investigators were not able to determine any criminal intent with the device.
She says it was constructed of simple, readily available material and is a common device found by bomb disposal units, especially around the Fourth of July and New Year’s.
Butler says the armoire was outside for about two weeks, so the device could have been put there any time.