Explosive device burns church parking lot

| May 5, 2010

North Platte authorities responded to an explosive device set off May 3 in the Bethel Evangelical Free Church parking lot at 2700 W. Philip.

Fire Marshall George Lewis said he estimated that the device burned for 15 to 20 minutes before the fire department was alerted and responded around 11:30 p.m.

Lewis said it took about five minutes to extinguish the flame.

Lt. Mike Swain of the police department said that the device appeared to be a propane tank, attached by a hose to a gas can.

“They poured some gasoline to act like a fuse,” Swain said.

Lewis said that when firefighters arrived the propane tank was shooting flame and needed to be cooled down before the fire could be put out.

The device was placed in the middle of the parking lot, away from the building. “It didn’t appear to be an intentional act to destroy property,” Swain said. The building was not damaged but some asphalt was melted.

Lewis said it was the second time in a few months the church parking lot was used to set off a similar device.

The first occurred in March, Lewis said. Senior Pastor Dan Reimer confirmed that there had been two incidents.

Reimer declined to comment, citing that the investigation was still open and he didn’t want to jeopardize the police’s work.

He did say, “I’m just glad nobody got hurt. I hope the police find them before somebody does something stupid.”

Swain said it is not known how many people were involved in setting off the device and encouraged anyone with information to contact the police department.



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Category: Church Security

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