Man finds explosive secret buried in military crate

Man finds explosive secret buried in military crate
Eight of the approximately 300 bricks of dynamite discovered buried in the woods by a Toledo man Monday night. (Courtesy of Lewis County Sheriff's Office)

TOLEDO, Wash. -- Fifteen years ago this December, a Toledo man is believed to have died when dynamite stored in the back of his tractor exploded while he was driving around his farm.

At the time, witnesses said the man worked in the explosive industry and had access to large amounts of explosives, which he often used to blow up stumps on his property.

It is believed the man buried and hid crates of dynamite around his large farm and the surrounding properties. Deputies found several boxes after the man's death, but were concerned there were still more out there.

Cut to 8 p.m. Monday when a resident in the 100 block of Spotted Doe Lane was walking in the forest behind his property when he stumbled across a partially buried crate marked "US Military," according to the Lewis County Sheriff's Office.

Ignoring the warnings of six decades of science-fiction movies, the man decided to open the mystery crate, finding what he assumed were about 300 yellow bricks of dynamite (and not some sort of government-issue Twinkies, which they so obviously appeared to be).

Further tempting fate, the man picked up eight of the bricks and took them home to examine further and to call the Sheriff's Office.

A Washington State Patrol Bomb Technician arrived and found the dynamite to be very stable, which meant the whole thing ended a lot better than it did for the tractor-driving explosives expert 15 years ago.

The State Patrol removed the remainder of the dynamite for disposal Tuesday morning.