Officials: FBI behind 2 blasts at Memorial-area home at center of mysterious FBI searches

FBI officials gather outside a Memorial-area home in Houston where there were two controlled detonations Saturday
October 5, 2013 6:18:19 PM PDT
We first told you Friday about an FBI investigation in two Houston communities and possibly one in Bryan. On Saturday, FBI agents were back in the Memorial area, continuing their investigation.

The FBI is behind two detonations at a home on Fall River Road at Longwoods Lane. The first was just before 2pm Saturday and the second was around 4pm. It's unclear whether any additional detonations are planned.

FBI bomb technicians were still at the scene Saturday evening, and that has neighbors on the edges of their seats.

The blasts could be heard throughout the upscale Memorial-area neighborhood.

"Bomb disposal going on in the neighborhood," neighbor Chris Oliver said. "It's quite shocking."

"Well, it sounded just like you think an explosion would sound," neighbor Christa Hash said.

Hash has had front row seat to all the action. Her backyard backs up to the home where FBI agents have been searching for two days now, looking for something volatile.

FBI spokesperson Shauna Dunlap says no one's been arrested but the controlled detonation Saturday afternoon was intended for the safety of the public and authorities at the scene.

"We came across a first potentially volatile substance and conducted the first controlled detonation, and then, being able to go back in the residence, we came across a second potentially volatile substance," Dunlap said.

The searches began Friday morning, from the home on Fall River to another upscale home in the Rice Village area and even to a condominium in Bryan. Crews suited up in HazMat gear with respirators and oxygen tanks before entering each home.

On day two, the Rice Village search site along with the Bryan condo were cleared, and the investigation was centered around the home on Fall River.

Close-by neighbors got knocks at their doors.

"[The FBI said to] stay away from your windows because there was going to be a pop or a boom,'" Hash said.

Others said they're still in the dark with what's happening, what the FBI has collected and what they are detonating.

"If they're comfortable enough blowing it up in the back yard, it must be minor," Oliver said. "But still, it's kind of crazy."

Records show all three properties are owned by a Houston art expert and her husband. No details on the reason for the searches or what was found have been released, but investigators say the cases are related. It also remains unclear exactly what substances or items were detonated Saturday.

We have a crew at the scene waiting to speak to FBI officials and confirm additional details. Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for updates.

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