Elderly man's caretaker finds 50 pounds of dynamite in home - FOX 32 News Chicago

Elderly man's caretaker finds 50 pounds of dynamite in home

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(Photo by FOX 32's Eddie Bartlett) (Photo by FOX 32's Eddie Bartlett)
EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Officials say 24 sticks of dynamite weighing 50 pounds were found in an elderly man’s basement Wednesday, and it had apparently been in his south suburban home for 60 years.

Mayor James Sexton told the Chicago Sun-Times the discovery was made in the 9700 block of Hamlin in Evergreen Park. A caretaker helping clean out the water-damaged basement of the 93-year-old man came upon the box of dynamite about 10 a.m. Wednesday, Lt. Pete Donovan said, and the elderly man asked the caretaker to throw it out.

Instead the caretaker called Evergreen Park police, Donovan said. After officers arrived, they called the Cook County Sheriff’s bomb squad and locked down a four-block area that included nearby schools.

Donovan said students were allowed to leave one school after classes ended early, but the students were kept a “safe distance away” from the scene. Surrounding homes were also evacuated, he said.

The dynamite was taken to Thornton Quarry to be detonated, Donovan said. The elderly man apparently told police he’d had it in his home for about 60 years — ever since a friend dropped it off before moving to California.

No one was hurt and no charges were filed, Donovan said. The elderly man was with his family Wednesday afternoon, he said.

“We’re just happy that it went as smoothly as it did,” Sexton said.

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