San Diego

Controlled Detonation of Hazardous Materials at La Jolla Home: FBI

FBI agents searched a home at 625 Wrelton Drive off La Jolla Boulevard and found "unstable chemicals"

The FBI and local hazardous waste teams detonated hazardous materials found Thursday during a search warrant execution at a La Jolla home, but first had to evacuate neighboring residents.

FBI agents searched a home at 625 Wrelton Drive off La Jolla Boulevard and found "unstable chemicals" deemed unsafe to transport, an FBI spokesperson said.

Surrounding homes and a building at 5130 La Jolla Boulevard, adjacent to the neighborhood, were evacuated.

"Evacuations have occurred for the safety of neighboring residents. Upon conclusion of the controlled detonation, the evacuation will be lifted," the spokesperson said.

A neighbor told NBC 7 the street was shut down when they heard a loud boom at around 3 p.m. The street was open to vehicle and pedestrian traffic by 4 p.m.

Federal agents believed hazardous waste was transported and then stored at the home on Wrelton Drive and two others in the region, according to a search warrant application filed by the FBI.

All three homes were once owned by the man who reportedly ran Sorrento Valley-based Curtis Technology. That man has passed away, according to court documents, but before his death he allegedly directed an employee to store toxic chemicals at all three locations. 

Chemicals found at the home on Wrelton included; Seven to eight gallons of Selenium, which can be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed; One to two gallons of Cesium, which is highly flammable; And as much as 15 gallons of diluted ferric chloride which is highly corrosive.

The county's Hazardous Incident Response Team (HIRT) and San Diego Fire-Rescue assisted.

The presence of dangerous chemicals in the home came as a shock to Duncan McColl, whose parents live in the neighborhood.

“Nothing that I ever saw caused me to be concerned. I never saw any trucks bringing something in. I didn’t have any reason to think that something was happening there,” McColl said.

No other information was available.

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