La Jolla residents evacuate after FBI finds hazardous chemicals

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SAN DIEGO -- Federal agents serving a search warrant at a home in La Jolla Thursday came across unstable chemicals, prompting evacuations in the area while hazardous-materials personnel disposed of the potentially dangerous materials.

Authorities cleared people out of residences in the 600 block of Wrelton Drive and blocked off traffic lanes and sidewalks in the mid-afternoon, according to San Diego police.

The county Hazardous Incident Response Team was called in for "assistance in detonating and disposing of unstable chemicals that were determined could not be transported safely," FBI spokeswoman Davene Butler said.

"The FBI is up there, all the bigwigs, and all of a sudden we heard fire in the hole - and she blew!"

Brad Lord, who lives nearby, was at a park below the home when the explosion occurred in the backyard.

Once that process was complete, the evacuations and road closures in the neighborhood near Tourmaline Surf Park were lifted, according to police.

The FBI did not disclose the reasons for the search or the nature of the hazardous substances found during it. It also was unclear if any arrests took place during the operation.

A representative for the EPA said the agency would be back in the neighborhood early morning Friday to continue to remove the hazardous chemicals.

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