CASTLE ROCK - The residents of more than 30 homes in Castle Rock were finally allowed back into their neighborhood Tuesday morning after police found two explosive devices Monday inside a neighbor's house which has been condemned.
Officers first discovered "suspicious chemicals" when they went to inform a teenage boy's parents he had been arrested around 2:30 a.m. Monday along with another high school student.
Prosecutors expect to make a decision on charges for the two juveniles arrested as early as Thursday. Police said so far they have found no links between the explosive chemicals at the Plum Creek home and recent threats against Douglas County schools.
Neighbor Tim Conser has lived in the quiet Plum Creek neighborhood for more than two decades and couldn't believe local police and federal investigators pulled two explosive devices out of his neighbor’s house.
"My knees buckled. That's not where I live," he said.
The explosives were detonated just yards from the home on the 400 block of West Prestwick Way at the Plum Creek golf course. Investigator said it was too dangerous to move them any farther way.
"Very hard to think about that it was just down the street," said Kathy Forbes.
After more than 30 homes were evacuated Monday afternoon, the neighbors were let back in around 5 a.m. Tuesday. A Red Cross shelter was set up at the Douglas County Fairgrounds but most residents stayed in hotels or with friends and family.
The house were the chemicals were found is still taped off with signs stating the building is an imminent threat to public health and safety. Bags of hazardous material collected inside were placed on the driveway and in trash bins.
"I was very surprised because this is a very nice neighborhood and why we chose it. Did not expect anything of that nature here," said resident Eugene Young.
Castle Rock police officers initially visited the home for another reason. They went to inform the parents of a teenage boy their son was arrested. That's when they saw suspicious chemicals that eventually lead to the discovery of the two devices officials say were intentionally made.
Many residents in the close-knit neighborhood said the family who lives in the home are not well known and have lived in the area for two or three years.
"They were never openly friendly," said Forbes.
But neighbor Conser said the teenage son had an interest in science.
"He was just fascinated with chemistry and we understand that it was encouraged by the family and everyone in the immediate neighborhood knew the boy was involved in that sort of thing," he said.
Conser hopes the devices that were found were not malicious.
"The last thing you want to do is, I hate to say it, brand a young person for who all intents and purposes has got a fascination with science," he said.
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