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Emily Welker, Published April 11 2014

Bomb squad destroys 2 explosive devices found on West Fargo boulevard

WEST FARGO – Police are cautioning residents to be careful after the bomb squad was called out on Thursday to get rid of two improvised explosive devices made from fireworks that were discovered lying on a boulevard just as school was getting out.

West Fargo police Officer Trent Stanton said police responded to a report from a passer-by about 2:56 p.m. of two suspicious items lying on the boulevard in the 500 block of Prescott Lane.

Officers inspected the two devices and found that they were made with common firework sparklers.

Members of the Red River Regional Bomb Squad were dispatched to the scene and safely destroyed the devices, Stanton said.

A neighbor in the area said police turned people away from the area for about an hour and a half while the bomb squad robot was deployed.

The items appeared to have fuse-like attachments, said the neighbor, and were wrapped in 1-inch black electrical tape.

It wasn’t clear if the homemade items were operational, but “I don’t want a kid to walk by, pick this up and it sparks off,” Stanton said.

Police found no other items in the area.

“It’s extremely dangerous,” he said. “It’s something we take seriously.”

Stanton said there are no suspects and the investigation is ongoing.

He did not know whether there was any connection to an ordinance passed in West Fargo March 3 that legalized fireworks in the city on Independence Day and New Year’s.

Stanton reminded neighbors to call police if they run across suspicious objects, and not to try to dispose of them on their own.

“You’re better off calling us,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541