ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - Welcome to the neighborhood! Police were called to an Orangeburg house Thursday evening after new occupants found a cache of pipe bombs while moving in.
In a normally quiet Orangeburg neighborhood, the modest house on Wilson Street harbored -- for years, possibly -- a serious danger. A young woman moving into the house found four pipe bombs, two of them attached to a detonator and a what appeared to be a timer.
Officers responded to the house around 7:30pm Thursday after the new residents found a military-style ammunition can containing the bombs, and called the police. "We cornered off the area and treated it as an active bomb," says Orangeburg Public Safety Chief Wendell Davis.
Officers verified that the items did appear to be potential explosive devices, and notified the State Law Enforcement Division's bomb squad. SLED responded around 8:20pm and retrieved the items. "That's very dangerous," says next-door neighbor Brittney Carter, "What if they wouldn't have found it? A fire could have gone up in that house, and we're basically dead."
The SLED bomb squad took the devices to a remote area near Bowman and exploded them Thursday night. SLED also checked the rest of the house to make sure there were no more IED's inside. "When you have a pipe bomb, you can easily connect it to some kind of terrorist plot, but we at this point don't see any information that leads us to believe that this was targeted at anything in particular," says Davis.
The house had been vacant for months. Its last occupant was an elderly woman who police say probably had no clue the bombs had been stored in her house.
Police say at one time, a younger male relative lived in the front portion of the house where the bombs were found, but he has since died.