Dynamite discovered on Lewis Co. property belonged to former owner killed in explosion

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

TOLEDO, Wash. - A couple out on a walk Monday night near their home in Toledo discovered a half-buried military box.

Writing on the side of the box said, "Rocket ammunition with explosives."

"It was just half-buried in the ground so we ripped it out of there," said Derek Lampert, who discovered the box. He told KIRO 7 he was not gentle when trying to get the box open.

"I kicked the crap out of the case so we could get the rust off the hinges and open it," he said.

When Lampert and Rachel Deckert got the box open they discovered 200 yellow blocks. They were still not sure what they were so, Deckert said, "We put a few of them in our pockets and headed to the store."

When the couple arrived at the local store a friend who used to be in the military quickly realized they had a problem.

"Our neighbor came in and said, 'Oh, s**t, that is TNT,'" Lampert said.

The couple called the Lewis County Sheriff's Office. The State Patrol bomb squad arrived Tuesday and started collecting the dynamite, which is actually relatively stable.

Further investigation revealed the man who used to live on the property was an explosives expert who buried dynamite all over the property because he feared people would steal it. He died while moving explosives on the property in 1998.

"He loaded it in the trailer and hit a tree or a stump and it blew up and blew him all to pieces," neighbor Ed Roberson told KIRO 7.

The State Patrol bomb squad was able to safely remove all the dynamite that was discovered Monday, but nobody is sure how many boxes of dynamite remain buried on the multi-acre property.