No one passing the Chronicles offices this last weekend - and not many who visited the hospital opposite us - can have missed the damage to the Chronicles office caused by an explosion. The window was blown out and there were scorch marks on the wall. Fortunately, no one was injured.
We have not previously published the details of the explosion that caused this damage on the request of the Sheriff’s Department, until they had interviewed us about it.
The explosion took place just after six-thirty pm last Thursday, the 10th. A parcel had just been delivered to the Chronicles, addressed to the editor, when the explosion took place. The night clerk had taken receipt of the parcel and placed it in the main office. He had gone into the rear of the building when the explosion happened, with the result that no one was physically harmed.
The Santa Ramona Fire Department responded, with its usual alacrity, to a 911 call from an anonymous witness, and the fire that the explosion caused was quickly put out. Gas and electricity were turned off and the fire did not spread. The most damage that was done was that two desks were burned.
The SRFD investigation immediately following the blaze revealed fragments of scorched plastic and metal in clusters, which looked out of place among the other debris. Tests of the residue on these fragments revealed traces of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in explosives, suggesting that the explosion might have been caused by an IED or home made bomb device.
The Sheriff’s Department is working on the idea that the Chronicles was the subject of a bomb attack. We have taken extra security measures because of this.
The SRSD are appealing for the person who made the 911 call reporting the explosion, or anyone else who witnessed it, to contact them on their non-emergency number.