April 4, 1996 in City

Explosions Felt Near Oregon Town

From Staff And Wire Reports

Explosions that were heard for miles rocked a building in the countryside west of this Columbia River town Wednesday evening and a large quantity of ammunition went off as fire consumed the structure.

There was no information on whether anybody was injured at the site, on an isolated tract of land about seven miles west of The Dalles.

Firefighters could not enter the burning structure when they arrived on the scene at 5:30 p.m.

“We still have people on the scene,” Lt. Bill Wolfe of the Wasco Rural Fire Protection District said late Wednesday. “They’re pretty much isolating it until morning. We’ll take a look at it then.”

A hazardous materials team from Gresham, the FBI, and a state police bomb squad were en route, Wolfe said.

He said nobody lived at the structure, which may have been a barn. It was not clear if anyone was inside. The owners live in Hood River.

The force of the explosion cracked the walls of a trailer home two miles away. Charred literature from the building was found four miles away and reportedly was about the making of bombs.

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