Deputies say the women who lived nearby extinguished the fire with a garden hose while on the phone with dispatchers, but the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad were called as a precautionary measure. A bomb squad deputy deployed the bomb robot, which retrieved the canister and emptied its contents. Inside was black powder that was later tested in the street and found to be flammable.
Firefighters shoveled the black powder into the street where the explosives expert ignited it to test for flammability and dispose of it.
The powder was not tested to see if it was gunpowder, however, deputies stated they believed it was.
Firefighters and deputies also reported smelling gasoline in the area and found pennies nearby with the remnants of what was believed to be the bag that contained the flammable powder.
Firefighters and deputies left the scene of the incident around 10:45 a.m.
Nick Rappley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-568-9975.