Dynamite found, evacuation and fire

Updates complete.

3:00pm– Parker Police Department has confirmed that several streets around the Desert/Eagle/Fiesta Avenues area of Parker are being evacuated as a precautionary measure at this hour after some “hazardous materials” were discovered at an old closed furniture store on that portion of Riverside Drive. One report says the discovery included dynamite which requires the attention of a Lake Havasu City bomb squad. Traffic detours will likely be in place on the main thoroughfare in Parker until the area is made safe.

3:15pm– From Nixle: “Hazardous conditions on 9th St and Desert. Entire block evacuated. No through traffic on Riverside at this time.”

3:21pm– Parker Police Department confirms 26 sticks of dynamite and blasting caps were found while cleaning out the old ‘Alewine’ furniture store property. Traffic is being rerouted through Geronimo. The police department estimates that the detour will persist until around 6pm this evening.

3:37– According to the online encyclopedia, “Over time, dynamite will ‘weep’ or ‘sweat’ its nitroglycerin, which can then pool in the bottom of the box or storage area. (For that reason, explosive manuals recommend turning boxes of dynamite in storage.) Crystals will form on the outside of the sticks. This creates a very dangerous situation. While the actual possibility of explosion without a blasting cap is minimal, old dynamite is still dangerous.”

3:42– National Bank employees evacuated.

3:43– From Zuky Hernandez outside AWC.

4:06– From Katie Turnbow on Twitter.

4:19– Police Chief says the dynamite was marked “1990”, making it twenty years old.

4:25– Parker Police Chief Rod Mendoza called KLPZ’s live afternoon show with this update (press the small play button at the bottom to stay on this page).

5:03pm– One stick of dynamite produces around 2.1 megajoules of energy, meaning the potential explosive power in the box discovered today is equal to around 54.6 megajoules.

6:27pm– Reports that the bomb squad has decided to destroy the dynamite on site.

6:31pm– Police officers confirm that the building will be incinerated within the next few minutes. Traffic detour is still in effect. Fire units are standing by as well as curious onlookers and some evacuated residents.

8:06pm– “Only in Parker are we camped out waiting for the building to blow up.” – Miss La Paz County Felicia McGee.

8:29– The building was lit around 20 minutes ago and appears to be burning well in a controlled manner. Police are at every intersection within blocks.

8:30– Fire hoses are soaking the fire to control the burning.

2:12am– Riverside Drive / Highway 95 through Parker, AZ now open.

16 comments

  1. Nah nah na na. na na na. Hey Hey Hey. Gooodbye!

    Thanks goodness. Its about time that melanoma on Parker’s back gets incinerated. Its been a stain on this town for 30+ years.

    Although its a shame they didn’t do an episode of Hoarders on the place first. God knows what horrors could be in there besides the dynamite.

  2. Wow Common Sense… Way to be so harsh.
    Im sorry, but my family has been family friends with the Alewines for many many years. The things that that old building had stored within were said to be so cherished and valuable. Granted the appearance may not have been good on the outside, but they were genuine good people.
    Life is not about who’s place looks good, nor is it anybodys business to say how big of a “stain” it has been. Im sorry, but as a lifetime resident of the Parker Area, I see the ‘ol Alewine Furniture, and know that as home. Sounds weird, but it is. it is a landmark, not the easiest on the eyes, but it was part of Parker.
    I am sad to see the Alewines leave, in addition to their buildings. God Bless them all.

  3. Only the furniture store had any sentimental value, other city blocks it took up was a lot of valuable land that held back A LOT of growth, jobs and tax dollars going into the town of parker, hell maybe enough for a real pool. thats reality.

  4. I give you that. They did hold on to a lot of land, and there is soooo much more that is not in everyone’s sight daily.
    The Alewines had a lot of Parker….. But as you said, reluctant to give it up.

  5. Wow, yes I must say that place held back vital development on the main road, there are no lots available at all. Not where Manny’s used to be, not between Rupertos and the Texaco, not next to Burger King…. the town had no where left to grow and could have made millions on that one block of property. Blessed Be to the Parker landmark. I am looking forward to seeing what vital development becomes of the property… wow a new pool on the main drag… how cool would that be?

  6. Those are CRIT lots. and are not large enough for say, a Grocery Super store.

  7. I often wondered what was going to happen to that building. This really wasn’t what I had envisioned. Bummer. In another town I lived in a few years ago, someone converted an old historic building into a small number of apartments. From the outside it looked like the old business it used to be but inside were nice updated living spaces. I always thought it would’ve been cool to see the old Alewine Furniture Store restored and maybe had something done with it. Man that just sucks. Parker holds a lot of history, sad to see some of it ‘lost’. Are they tribal lots intertwined with the city lots? I would love to see some development in that area. Maybe in a better economy? Anybody know anyone with a ridiculous amount of money not knowing what to do with it?

  8. I know there was a lot of history with these buildings and the Alewine family. Did anyone know the dynamite was even in the building all this time? Prob not should of been checked for any danger to the community.

  9. The family rarely let any outsiders on the property which is why the dynamite wasnt known about.
    and yes tribal lots are intertwined with city lots, easy way to tell(minus a few exceptions) is if the lot is empty its tribal.


  10. paintcan16:

    Those are CRIT lots. and are not large enough for say, a Grocery Super store.

    I thought those lots were deeded to the Alewine’s? I recall a conversation about Basha’s being interested in that property to relocate… were they mistaken?

    I’ve been here for a while now; more than 12 years. It has been “abandoned” since I’ve been here and is a real eyesore. I guess since I’m not “from” here, I have no sentimental attachment to the property and would love to see it developed. Anything to give the view along the main drag a “shot in the arm” so-to-speak. A small strip shopping area, a new restaurant that’s not pizza or Mexican food, or even a community center to give the youngsters of Parker something better to do than… well nothing.

  11. What about handing the properties over to Jim Willett? I’m sure he could develop some money-making venture there and help lessen the debt on The NeverEnding Lawsuit.

  12. Parker may be comprised of roughly two kinds of people: those who wish to see development and progress, and those who want to live as things were 50 years ago. I think that variance is what characterizes the discussion about what happens to the Alewine property!

  13. I would like to see development upriver so I didn’t have to trek all the way in to town… especially on weekends. And Cate, in order to “give” that property away, the County would have to own it. Let’s not start the Eminent Domain stuff here, shall we?

  14. Clearly, my post about the crit lots was focused towards parkerrvrgrl’s post about the empty lots in the area.

  15. paintcan16 that entire block is TOWN property. And from what I hear Joe is working bit by bit to clear the mess up. It’s high time that mess gets cleaned up and some businesses go in there to make money for the town.

  16. they are not town properties, Ican promise you that.

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