Police hold neighborhood meeting after Castle Rock home condemned

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A Castle Rock home was condemned Tuesday after a chemicals investigation forced the evacuation of a neighborhood and the detonation of two explosive devices.

The Castle Rock Police Department and the Douglas County District Attorney's Office said at a news conference late Tuesday afternoon that the home at 455 Prestwick Way was condemned because investigators found chemicals in different parts of the house.

The incident began Monday after two teenagers were arrested on unrelated charges and officers went to the home to inform one of the teen's parents.

Officials searched one of the teen's locker at his unidentified high school, but neighbors said Douglas County High School serves the area.

Red police tape with “Danger Hot Zone” printed on it blocked access to the two-story house as several yellow bags holding hazardous material piled up in the driveway.

The Douglas County Bomb Squad detonated the devices on Plum Creek Golf Course.

Investigators found a collection of chemicals in plain sight in the home after officers advised the homeowners they arrested their 16-year-old son and another boy on an unrelated charge.

The case has been turned over the District Attorney's Office for the 18th Judicial District.

“I did hear the explosion. Our existing home is one mile south of here,” resident Rick Eisele said.

The discovery of two dangerous devices forced the evacuation of about 30 homes, including Eisele, who is living in between homes while making repairs.

“It meant we had to reschedule (a plumbing estimate) for (Tuesday). For us, it’s a minor inconvenience since we don’t have to go find a new place to stay,” Eisele said.

But it proved a bigger inconvenience to Tim Conser.

“That didn’t happen (Monday) night. I kept hoping it would,” he said about a long-held Halloween tradition he had to cancel because of the evacuation.

With no Halloween on Prestwick Way, he had no choice but to forgo the joy he’s given countless kids for decades, with his house display featuring a creepy character sitting in the window.

“We were resilient with the help of my daughter and family, to pull together and everybody would normally come over here … to celebrate up there (at his daughter’s home),” Conser said.

On Tuesday, the home was still off-limits because of a virtual hazardous materials mess.

And neighbors hoped the information that results from the investigation isn’t any scarier than what they’ve already endured.

“It was sad and it really hit me when we were carving pumpkins,” Conser said about the sudden loss of a holiday he didn’t realize meant so much to him and his family.

Neighbors said one of the juvenile suspects is 16 years old and is a whiz at chemistry. They’re hopeful the investigation turns up very little.

They said police found chemicals in the home because the father owns a landscaping company and he works with those chemicals.

Neighbors got their chance to talk to police at a community meeting Tuesday night at Plum Creek Golf Club.

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