San Diego

FBI, Hazmat Crews Detonate More Chemicals at La Jolla Mansion

One day after performing a controlled detonation at a La Jolla mansion, Federal agents and hazmat teams returned Friday to detonate more dangerous chemicals deemed unsafe to transport.

FBI agents first searched the bluff-top home at 625 Wrelton Drive off La Jolla Boulevard Thursday afternoon 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.

Neighbors didn't have to evacuate during Friday's detonations, and were instead told to stay inside their homes.

FBI and local hazardous waste teams detonated hazardous materials found during a search warrant execution at a La Jolla home. NBC 7's Alex Presha.

Among their concerns was whether or not the air was safe to breathe after the explosions.

"I would feel better if they knocked on all the doors and told us what they were doing it and gave us a little bit of warning and followed up and explained things to us," Marta Carrasco said.

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.

An EPA spokesperson told NBC 7 crews would be back at the home on Saturday to haul away more chemicals, but didn't say if there would be more detonations.

No other information was available.

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