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Escondido home to be burned; I-15 to be closed

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The Escondido home where authorities found a large stockpile of extremely dangerous explosives will be burned to the ground today after a federal judge ruled so yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns denied a request by George Jakubec’s attorney to hold off on the planned destruction of the home until items crucial to the defense could be retrieved. Jakubec said he wanted a book on mining and some graph paper with notes on it, among other things, however bomb experts and law enforcement said it was too dangerous to enter the home.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore agrees with the judge’s decision, citing public safety.

As of late Wednesday night residents within blocks of the home were evacuated. Beginning this morning around 10am the I-15 will be closed in both directions. The freeway will be shut down as a precaution between State Route 78 and Centre City Parkway for roughly three hours, starting about 30 minutes before the start of the blaze.

Those who live west of I-15 are urged to seek shelter inside while the home is burned.

Authorities believe the elaborate fire-demolition operation is the safest possible way to dispose of the chemicals. The theory is that the heat from the fire will destroy the explosives without causing any detonations.

The weather conditions are also holding strong, which environmentalists say will limit air pollution caused by the burn.

Jakubec, who lived in the now-condemned house with his wife for about four years, pleaded not guilty Monday to eight federal charges in the case and was ordered held without bail. The 54-year-old is charged with making and possessing destructive devices, as well as robbing three banks and trying to rob a fourth over the past two years. A federal indictment handed up last week alleges that Jakubec made destructive devices, including nine detonators and 13 grenade hulls, along with unknown quantities of high explosives.

Photo from TheTruthAbout via Flickr

San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

1 Comment

  1. Bettyann Chambers

    December 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

    It would have been very helpful instead of copying what every other news organization is saying would be to do your job and publish when and what part of I15 would be closed and a map. Thanks for nothing!

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