Escondido ‘Bomb House’ burn preparations underway

Physical work continued at the site of the 'bomb house' Friday, lots of meetings between officials as preparations continue to get the explosive property ready for burning.

KUSI's Ed Lenderman has been following this story and has the latest developments.

Work on the protective wall continued Friday. It's being built between the bomb home and the it immediate surrounding houses.

The wall is a 16-foot metal fence, double-layered with fire-resistant dry wall. On the day of the fire, it will be coated with a flame-retardant gel. The home on the other side of the bomb house is having its windows covered and on the day of the blaze, both homes will be sprayed with the gel.

Firefighters from the San Marcos and Escondido Fire Departments are also clearing vegetation on either side of the bomb house. Officials involved in the operation met throughout the day to finalize the plan.

Officials are keeping a close eye on the weather, there needs to be conditions like what we had earlier this week, blue sky, no clouds, light breeze no more than 3 to 7 MPH.

Law enforcement agencies, including the Sheriff, Escondido Police and the CHIP, are also meeting with the Red Cross and Caltrans to finalize the evacuation and traffic plans.

Neal Langerman is an expert in chemical safety, despite the concern of some residents, he says he's confident the plan can be implemented safely to the point of making it a non-event, although there's no guarantee there won't be some collateral property damage.

As for concerns about the toxicity of the smoke, this controlled fire will not have any more toxicity than a normal residential fire. So yes, it will have toxicity, but not any different than if a house down the street burned.

This fire will be extremely hot, about 1800 degrees, burning quickly, drawn up into the atmosphere, the toxicity is consumed within the four walls before it goes up and then its just a house fire. So the chemicals burn in the first 20 to 30 minutes but you have to have some air flow. On Monday, the Sheriff's Bomb Squad will open holes in the roof.

Given the predicted weather, the plan is to burn the home either next Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Residents will be given 24 to 48 hours notice.

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