There was a loud boom and burst of flame as bomb squad experts used a "controlled detonation" to destroy explosive chemicals inside an apartment in Beaver Dam Wednesday afternoon.
A blast blew out the windows in unit 11 at 109 Knaup Drive around 1 p.m. Monday and led to evacuation of the buildings in and near the Village Glen apartments.
Officials worked for two days to remove hazardous materials that remained in apartment following a fatal explosion Monday. Wednesday they decided the safest way to handle the situation would be to have a "controlled detonation" to destroy the items.
Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger conducted a press conference Wednesday morning with FBI special agent in charge Justin Tolomeo and Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt.
Kreuziger identified the man fatally killed in the apartment as the occupant. He has been described as someone who moved to the area a couple of months ago to rent the apartment. Explosive items were found in the garage he was renting as well as the apartment.
“They are highly volatile homemade bombs that can’t be removed,” Kreuziger said.
Beaver Dam Police are working with the FBI. Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, the Dane County Bomb Squad and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have been at the scene.
Nicole Barlow and her 9-month daughter Evelyn live in one of the buildings across the courtyard.
“We managed to get out but my son passed away in 2016 and his ashes are still in that apartment,” Barlow said.
At the time of the explosion Monday, Barlow said she heard the loud noise and was able to comfort Evelyn as she saw the damage in the courtyard with the blinds hanging out the window and emergency personnel running to the scene.
“We were at Walmart at around 6 p.m. and were told we’d have to evacuate the apartment as well,” Barlow said. “Thankfully we were able to get out, but my son’s ashes are still in there.”