Police investigating explosion on Union Street in Greenfield

Police investigating explosion on Union Street in Greenfield
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 11:05 PM EDT
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GREENFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Police have identified the “incendiary device” that exploded in Greenfield.

Police told Western Mass News it was a mini propane tank wrapped in a towel that was set on fire. Union Street is now back open and we caught up with neighbors who describeD what they heard.

“It’s been quite the eventful afternoon,” said Allen Vight of Greenfield.

Michael Hearn and Allen Vight live at 41 Union Street in Greenfield, the sight of an explosion Thursday afternoon.

“I heard a big bang. It was real loud. I thought it was like a stick of dynamite, I wasn’t sure what it was,” Hearn said.

“I was sitting on the front steps waiting for a friend when the explosion went off, and I could feel the concussion. It was really loud and I went out and looked behind the building and there was a big burn spot on the grass where apparently it occurred,” explained Vight.

They told Western Mass News they were evacuated from their house for more than three hours.

“Fortunately the neighbors are real good. They brought us out some chairs, some drinks, they were really nice,” Allen said.

Officials said were called to the scene just before 3:00 p.m. for a report of an explosion and closed down Union Street for several hours.

“What they found when they arrived was that an incendiary device had apparently exploded in the backyard of the residence,” said Aaron Kupec, communications director for the city of Greenfield.

Police later identified that device to Western Mass News:

“It was a little camping propane tank that appeared to be wrapped in a cloth. The cloth was set on fire, and we believe the tank overheated and exploded,” said Deputy Chief William Gordon of the Greenfield Police Department.

Deputy Chief William Gordon said that they believe it was intentional. He said there were several other items found inside the house.

“One substance that we were concerned about turned out to be innate ...The other items, I don’t want to describe them, they were taken as evidence,” Gordon explained.

Greenfield Police worked closely with the Massachusetts and Vermont state police’s bomb squads to process the scene. The incident is under investigation.

“The FBI showed up and they’re doing a preliminary investigation to ensure that there was no domestic terrorism involved. We don’t believe at this time that there was,” explained Gordon.

Police said there is no danger to the public. A Greenfield man was taken into custody and is facing charges. His identity and the charges have not yet been released.