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December 26, 2014

Officials look into Wednesday explosion in Angel

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Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:00 pm | Updated: 3:56 pm, Wed Jul 30, 2014.

State and local officials on Thursday were investigating an explosion in the Angel community near Jacksonville on Wednesday that shattered window glass and sent pets into hiding.

Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said that deputies were looking into several leads, but he declined to say who they believe may have been responsible for the blast until they know the source for certain.

“We’ve been told who it could be. We’re going to confirm that, but we have no information to believe that this was anything criminal,” Amerson said by phone Thursday.

Pam Howard, who lives on Hickory Lane in the Angel community, said the explosion broke a front window in her home.

“My husband and I were sitting there, and there was a huge explosion. Neighbors had mirrors and photos blow off their walls,” Howard said.

Howard said the explosion happened between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, but said it wasn’t the first she’s heard in the area in recent weeks. Howard, who works from home, said Wednesday’s was the fourth explosion she’d heard in July. By far Wednesday’s was more powerful, however, she said.

“Last night was just ridiculous,” Howard said.

Howard and others in the area say the blast came from an old rock quarry on the 1300 block of Angel Drive. Howard took a photo of a plume of smoke rising from the area of the quarry just after the blast.

Donna Eady lives one home north of the entrance to that quarry. Eady said Wednesday’s blast, which she also believes came from the quarry, opened her front door. She’s heard similar, smaller explosions recently, but like Howard, Eady said “there hasn’t been anything compared to that.”

Attempts to reach the owner of that quarry Wednesday were unsuccessful. An entrance to the quarry was gated and locked Wednesday afternoon.

“We have had reports of damage,” said Steve Holmes, spokesman for the Alabama Fire Marshal's Office.

Holmes said State Fire Marshal's Office investigators were looking into what happened.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Holmes said.

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