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60 Homes Evacuated in Van Nuys Bomb Scare

Emergency: Authorities say neighborhood is emptied when a package containing explosive materials is traced to a resident, who was being questioned Thursday night.

January 14, 2000|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN and ZANTO PEABODY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

VAN NUYS — Los Angeles police evacuated about 60 homes here Thursday after they traced a package containing explosive materials to a Van Nuys man.

The man, a pyrotechnist, was being questioned by police late Thursday, said Lt. Willie Guerrero of the Van Nuys Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Guerrero said he did not know whether the man is a licensed pyrotechnist.

The evacuation was ordered Thursday afternoon after a worker at Mail Boxes Etc. in Van Nuys reported finding a package containing explosive materials, Guerrero said.

Officers went to the address listed on the package and found a large quantity of explosive materials at the home in the 7900 block of Genesta Avenue, Guerrero said.

"We have a situation where a resident had explosives stored in the home and we evacuated the neighborhood," Guerrero said. "We are trying to ensure the safety of the residents and emergency personnel."

The four-square-block area evacuated was bounded by Stagg Street, Strathern Street, Genesta Avenue and Paso Robles Street.

A nearby elementary school was designated as an evacuation center. As of late Thursday, residents had not been allowed back to their homes.

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