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July 2, 2012

‘Sparkler bomb’ damages house in south Wichita

Police say a “sparkler bomb” destroyed a mailbox and damaged a house in south Wichita late Sunday night.

Police say a “sparkler bomb” destroyed a mailbox and damaged a house in south Wichita late Sunday night.

A woman who lives in the 2200 block of South Greenway, just east of the Arkansas River and north of Pawnee, heard a loud explosion at about 9:15 p.m., Lt. Doug Nolte said.

She went outside and saw that her mailbox had been destroyed, and debris from it struck the side of her house. The bomb squad was called out, Nolte said, and investigators determined someone had built an improvised explosive device using sparklers and set it off inside the mailbox.

“It is very, very dangerous” to set off sparkler bombs, Nolte said. “We are very lucky no one was close by and hit by shrapnel.”

The force of sparkler bombs is strong enough to kill people who happen to be nearby when they go off, he said.

The case is being investigated as an arson.

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