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Fireworks, explosives seized near Omaha; homes evacuated
BY JENNIFER PALMER
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
At least 1,600 pounds of commercial-grade explosives and several containers of chemicals used to manufacture fireworks were found Thursday morning in a house southwest of Omaha. The discovery prompted an evacuation of the immediate area and the arrest of the homeowners.
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Law enforcement closed off the area surrounding Jeremy Stork's home at 18654 Nina St.
A Douglas County sheriff's deputy patrolling the neighborhood northwest of 180th and F Streets spotted a delivery truck about 2:30 a.m., said Chief Deputy Marty Bilek. After talking with the driver, the deputy learned that he was delivering fireworks to the house, at 18654 Nina St.
Deputies then searched the garage and found so many explosives that they evacuated the house and the two houses on either side of it, Bilek said. No homes have yet been built across the street.
Homeowner Jeremy Stork consented to a search of the garage but would not consent to a search of the rest of the house, so deputies obtained a search warrant, Sgt. Rob Jones said.
The chemicals were found in a 55-gallon drum and in buckets in the basement, Bilek said. He said investigators think that the chemicals are used to make colors in fireworks.
In searching the house, deputies also found fully automatic weapons, some with silencers, which are illegal, Bilek said.
The house is valued at $358,600, according to the Douglas County assessor's Web site.
In 2000, 2001 and 2002, a Jeremy Stork received permits from the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's Office for a public fireworks display in Blair, according to the fire marshal's Web site.
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On Thursday, deputies arrested Stork, 33, and his wife, Andrea Stork, 33, on suspicion of felony possession of explosive devices.
Bilek said the fireworks posed a danger to the neighborhood.
"If this would have ignited, it would have done damage to several houses nearby," he said. "It would have been catastrophic if it would have exploded."