Homemade explosives seized in Webster City

Homemade explosive devices recently found at two locations in Webster City were seized by the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office.

On Sunday, officers of the Webster City Police Department were dispatched to a location on Third Street to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance, according to a press release from the department. While investigating the disturbance, officers learned one of the subjects might have been in possession of an explosive or incendiary device, according to Officer Brandon Pritchard.

The Webster City Fire Department and the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office were called to the scene for assistance. David Linkletter, special agent for the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office, said officers’ suspicions were confirmed when improvised explosive devices were found. Devices were seized from the location on Third Street as well as a second residence on Bank Street. Captain Brandon Hayes, of the Webster City Fire Department, said about five devices which were the size and shape of a dry-erase marker, and another device which he estimated to be between the size of a walnut and a plum, were found.

No injuries were reported from the seizure of the homemade explosive devices. Linkletter said such devices always pose a danger as there is no standard to which they are made. That’s why he and others with the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office are called to such situations in communities that don’t have bomb squads.

“Whenever you’re dealing with these types of materials, there’s a danger, especially when they’re homemade,” Linkletter said.

After the devices were seized, Linkletter said they were taken to a safe location and disposed of. The press release from the Webster City Police Department said a juvenile male was detained and taken to Van Diest Medical Center for mental evaluation in relation to the case.

The investigation is ongoing and criminal charges are pending, according to the release.

Hayes said he’s never been called to a situation involving explosive devices since he began working for the Webster City Fire Department in 1991.

“It’s not common at all,” Hayes said. “Hopefully, it will not be common.”