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Explosives found in Charley Bluff home basement

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Catherine W. Idzerda
May 30, 2012
— Rock County Sheriff's Office deputies found a large amount of explosives in the basement of a Charley Bluff home Tuesday.

The material included about 18 pounds of "highly volatile" explosive powder, according to a news release from the Rock County Sheriff's Office.


At 8:28 a.m., deputies were called to 11634 Nelson St., Milton Township, for a death investigation. The home is approximately 3,000 feet from the Royce Dallman Park and boat landing.


Deputies found Chad E. Sprague, 41, dead in the garage of the home. Sprague died from an apparent suicide, the news release said. Online circuit court records show the Nelson Street address as Sprague's residence.


When deputies entered the home to check for other victims, they found the explosives in the basement. It appeared the materials were being used to manufacture commercial-grade fireworks, the news release said.


The Winnebago County, Ill., Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad was called to the scene. Milton Fire and EMS were called to the scene to stand by while the explosives were removed from the home.


The bomb squad advised that about 18 pounds of powder explosive was extremely volatile. They recommended that it not be transported any farther than necessary, the news release said.


The material was taken to the Rock County pit on Newville Road, Janesville. The Janesville Fire Department and emergency medical services were called to stand by.


Six charges were used to get rid of the powder, and the explosions could be heard throughout Newville Road neighborhood, the news release said.


The remainder of the explosive material found at the home was taken to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office facility, where it will be destroyed.


Sprague did not have a criminal record.



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