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Bomb squad technicians dispose of blasting caps

Man found them when he was cleaning out deceased father's Keedysville home

July 22, 2012

KEEDYSVILLE — A team of bomb squad technicians from the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office safely disposed of blasting caps Friday afternoon at Chestnut Grove Park in southern Washington County, according to a news release.

Blasting caps are small explosives commonly used to detonate larger explosives such as dynamite, authorities said. The caps come in a variety of types, and are used in excavation, mining and demolition.

A man identified as Arlington Gifft found the caps when he was cleaning out his deceased father’s home in the 3600 block of Trego Mountain Road in Keedysville.

Gifft told bomb squad technicians that his father previously worked as a licensed blaster, and when he recognized the possible danger of the caps, he contacted the fire marshal’s office, authorities said.

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Members of Potomac Valley Fire and EMS and paramedics with Washington County Emergency Services stood by during the operation.

All Marylanders are urged to contact their local police department if they have old explosives or live military ordnance in their possession, State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard said in the release.

“Because they contain easy-to-detonate primary explosives, blasting caps are hazardous for untrained personnel to handle,” Barnard said. “They are sometimes not recognized as explosives due to their appearance, leading to injuries. Mr. Gifft made the right call in notifying us.”

Bomb squad technicians are highly trained in the disposal of such devices and the proper disposal can help avert tragedies, Barnard said.

For more information about fire safety, call the fire marshal’s office at 1-800-525-3124.

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