Escondido ‘Bomb House’ cleanup officially complete
The Escondido 'bomb house' is officially no more. Wednesday, crews hauled away the last of what was left of the home. Now attention focuses fully on the man whom authorities say was responsible for having to burn the house down.
KUSI's Ed Lenderman has been following this story and has the latest details.
Trying to beat the rain, cleanup crews worked late last night and kept up the pace Wednesday to get the debris cleared and hauled away before the inclement weather moved in.
The removal included the last of the soil and ash at the site. After firefighters burned down the home packed with explosives and bomb-making chemicals last Thursday, the home, being rented by 54-year-old George Jakubec, was deemed too unsafe to do anything other than to destroy it.
Since Thursday's operation went as planned, the explosives and hazardous materials were incinerated in the intense heat. Most of the rubble, officials say, could be dumped in landfills or recycled.
A spokesperson for County Environmental Health says everything was done in a manner that protected public health. Waste from the fire was kept wet to keep dust at a minimum and fiber rolls were used to ensure any runoff didn't go into storm drains.
The crews were comprised of county, state and private companies. All overseen by state and county agencies.
Meantime, Jakubec remains in the downtown federal jail, he's being held without bail. According to court records, he's admitted to the charges, including bank robbery, but authorities have yet to disclose a motive.
Local FBI special agent-in-charge Keith Slaughter was on KUSI's Good Morning San Diego. He says federal investigators are still determining the “why”.
“The only thing I can tell you with a degree of certainty is that as he was building explosive devices, whether it was for kicks or something else, it's the type of material that once you are successful in doing it, what do you do with it, you can't discard it and I think he was smart enough to realize that,” said Slotter.
The potential for the devices and chemicals to go off with barely a touch is why authorities did what they did.
One of the points Jakubec's lawyer made in trying to get the burn delayed in order for evidence favorable to the defense to be retrieved, was that Jakubec, his wife and their dog, had moved freely about the house for four years without being injured.
Authorities countered that there was evidence of unintended explosions in the home and of course, there was the explosion that injured the property's gardner, which triggered the whole investigation.