Multiple families in Castle Rock neighborhood evacuated – again

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Multiple families in one Castle Rock neighborhood have been evacuated — again.

About 30 homes in the Plum Creek neighborhood were evacuated on Halloween, after suspicious chemicals and explosive materials were discovered inside a home on Prestwick Way. That home was later condemned.

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The new evacuation,  which town officials said is part of the “active chemical clean-up process,” comes the day before Thanksgiving, as many people are making preparations for holiday meals, guests and/or travel.

Officials said eight homes on Prestwick Way were evacuated at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday “out of an abundance of caution.”

The evacuation is expected to be in effect until “later in the afternoon,” officials said.

The residents who had to evacuate were “personally notified by Castle Rock Fire and Rescue and Castle Rock Police” the night before.

The Town of Castle Rock issued a statement that read, in part:

 

“Castle Rock Fire and Rescue has been monitoring and working with a licensed and approved chemical contractor, hired by the homeowner to safely remove any existing chemicals from the home. Throughout this process, the contractor has been compliant with best practices to ensure the safest possible outcome.

“The removal of chemicals has been successful and crews are on the last portion of this clean-up of this residence. There are chemical compounds that may be explosive, and have been identified. These will need to be removed from the residence [Wednesday] and the evacuation will occur while these materials are being transported to a safe location for disposal.

“Due to the nature of some of the chemicals, specialty equipment is necessary to continue the cleanup. As with the initial contact within this home, CRFD will be working with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Bomb Unit.

“The explosive materials will be transported to a safe remote location used by the Douglas County Bomb Unit, to ensure the safest possible disposal. Following the removal of these materials, once the required documentation is complete, the residence will be considered safe and the homeowners will be allowed to return.”

 

Police found the chemicals and explosive devices at the home in the 400 block of Prestwick Way after arresting two juveniles who were out after curfew on the night before Halloween.

When police went to the home to tell the parents of one of the child’s arrest, officers found the small box of chemicals that appeared suspicious and called in hazardous materials crews.

Some of the chemicals were sensitive enough that static electricity could have set them off, said Tommy Barrella with the Douglas County Bomb Squad. The chemicals were purchased legally, Barrella said.

Police said one of the teens had “extensive knowledge” and some of the devices used were illegal. Officials said the devices were never completed but were close to being bombs.

“I have never seen this level of sophistication from a juvenile,” police said.

About 30 homes were evacuated on Halloween and some spent the night at a Red Cross shelter at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Residents were able to return at 5 a.m. the next day.

The two 16-year-old suspects were charged a few days later.

One of the suspects was charged with possession of an explosive device. Bond was set at $1 million.

The second teen was charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of a handgun as a juvenile. Bond was set at $50,000.