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Picric acid found in West Ashley home called for 'controlled explosion' fire dept. says

Hazmat in West Ashley neighborhood (WCIV)

A substance left in a home garage for almost 30 years caused a huge scene in West Ashley Friday. A homeowner in the Shadowmoss subdivision found picric acid in his garage and knew he had to call authorities to get it moved safely.

As the work day was coming to an end , neighbors in the Shadowmoss subdivision in West Ashley came home to an explosion.

“He was concerned about the condition of the chemicals and that prompted the call,” said Mike Julazadeh, Chief Fire Marshall

For more than four hours, The City of Charleston Fire, Hazmat Team, the Bomb Squad, EMS and Charleston Police worked to safely remove the picric acid.

“We had additional concerns with the gas line cause once they determined the product had to be destroyed on site. They worried about the gas line that was in the vicinity so SCE&G actually responded to the scene as well.” Julazadeh said.

The Chief Fire Marshall said it was too risky to try and move the acid from the garage. “It's possible there could’ve been an explosion while moving it or transporting it down the road, and that was the bomb squads concern and why they made the choice to detonate it here.” Julazadeh said.

With one boom, Fitzroy drive in the Shadowmoss subdivision returned to normal. “The item was actually destroyed in a controlled explosion and the bomb techs verified the material was destroyed and all the disposable materials were utilized properly.” Julazadeh said.

Fire officials said there were more chemicals found in the garage and the homeowner will have to hire an independent contractor to safely remove them.

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