Sunday, May 19, 2013
WINSLOW -- The state Fire Marshal's Office is investigating three consecutive days of small fires involving homemade fire bombs.
Winslow Police Chief Jeffrey Fenlason, left, and State Fire Marshal supervisor Ken Grimes examine the remains of an exploded device in the Winslow Junior High School parking lot Thursday. It was the third device exploded in Winslow in the last three days.
Photo by Ben McCanna / Staff Writer
On Thursday, police had roped off a parking lot at Winslow Junior High School so investigators could comb the scene of the latest incident. The device, which reportedly burned at 4 a.m. Thursday, was made from an aerosol can and a carbon-dioxide canister, said Ken Grimes, a supervisor with the State Fire Marshal's Office.
"We're trying to figure out what it is," Grimes said. "The components and the way they're constructed are a little unconventional. It's something we have to work at."
Grimes said he's unsure whether the homemade incendiary device was a projectile or stationary, explosive or just causing fire.
On the parking lot Thursday, a scorch mark about two feet in diameter was visible from Danielson Street.
State Fire Marshal's Office Investigator Stu Jacobs, who is the primary investigator in the case, said two other devices had burned in Winslow in recent days. At 3:58 a.m. Tuesday, a similar device was reported burning at the corner of Pinehurst Avenue and Woodlawn Drive. At 3:56 a.m. Wednesday, another burning device was reported at the corner of North Garand and East Bowden streets.
Grimes said the three incidents, which took place within 2,000 feet of each other, could be related.
"The times are similar, the community is similar and the construction has some similarities, so it is certainly a possibility, but we don't know for sure," he said.
Winslow Police Chief Jeffrey Fenlason said the devices were lit in areas away from homes and it doesn't appear there was any intent to damage property. Nonetheless, the incidents are serious.
"I'm very, very concerned," he said. "Somebody's going to get hurt."
Fenlason said there are no suspects, but police would go door to door in the area to seek tips from residents.
If another device is found in the coming days, Fenlason urged people to take caution.
"Please stay away from it. Don't try to investigate it or do anything to it at all. Call us or the fire department," he said.
In May, Grimes and the state police Special Services Bomb Team detonated what appeared to be a pipe bomb left on the steps of St. Theresa's Church in Oakland. Investigators determined the object was not explosive.
Ben McCanna -- 861-9239