On Monday morning, Washington County Sheriff’s Department quarantined an area near Springtown after a small explosive device was located on a vacant lot.
Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen said they asked residents to stay away from the area of Springtown and Vintage Road at the time. They also evacuated the immediate danger zone.
“We had a rash of suspicious fires in the Springtown area the last several months and through the investigation we were able to get a person into custody and charged,” Jacobsen said. “In the process the fire marshal’s office was following up on some information they had received and information that came through the interview process.”
Jacobsen said during that they came out to the area and were walking the path that one of the suspects has allegedly walked. While walking the path through an abandoned lot in Springtown they located an explosive device in a tree.
“That explosive device is small and looks to be about an inch in diameter and four to five inches long with an eight-inch wick similar to a firework’s wick protruding out of one end of it,” Jacobsen explained.
They asked the St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit to handle the device and to use their bomb-sniffing dog to clear the area to make sure there were no other devices. The FBI and ATF were also contacted.
“The device was successfully and safely removed from the lot without incident or injury. The investigation into the devices’ owner is ongoing and will be handled jointly by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, state and federal law enforcement partners,” Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen thanked the Washington County Ambulance District, Potosi Fire Protection District, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the ATF and FBI and the bomb unit for their assistance.
“We don’t have a definite suspect with this device at his time,” Jacobsen said Monday.
This is a developing story and the Daily Journal will provide more details as they become available.