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'Bomb factory' house prompts California governor to declare emergency

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The declaration frees up state funding to help remove the explosives
  • The bomb squad has deemed house too dangerous to re-enter
  • Authorities plan to burn the house
  • The resident is being held on bomb-making and bank robbery charges

(CNN) -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in San Diego County, the site of a house with the nation's largest cache of homemade explosives ever found in one spot.

The declaration, made Wednesday, frees up state funding to help in the removal of the explosives.

San Diego authorities have said they will burn down the house that they've described as a "bomb factory."

The house, in an unincorporated area near Escondido, California, has been deemed too dangerous for bomb squads to re-enter because it contains two kinds of volatile explosives, and the interior is too cluttered for bomb crews to negotiate safely, authorities said.

Among the reasons Schwarzenegger cited for the state of emergency declaration were the location of the house in a populated area and the evacuation of nearby homes to remove the explosives.

He also said that the "removal of this stockpile of highly explosive, unstable materials, by reason of their volatility and magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single county."

The house's resident, George Djura Jakubec, 54, a computer software consultant, is being held in lieu of $5 million bail on bomb-making and bank robbery charges.

The house would be set afire some time between December 8 and December 10, if the skies are clear and winds are about 5 mph out of the west, which would allow the smoke to dissipate over nearby Interstate 15, said a San Diego sheriff's spokeswoman. Authorities plan to erect protective walls during the burn.

Bomb crews discovered two types of homemade explosives inside the house last week -- also the kind that terrorists worldwide favor: hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD, and pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, which is now the target of new U.S. airport body scans and pat downs. Authorities didn't remove those explosives from the house.

Eight or 9 pounds of HMTD were found in the backyard after a gardener was injured when he accidentally ignited some of the material almost two weeks ago. One expert likened the 9 pounds to a large car bomb, which could blow out the house's windows and doors and damage adjacent houses.

Authorities are now investigating Jakubec's intentions.

Exacerbating the work of the bomb squad is the overwhelming volume of interior clutter that suggests Jakubec was a hoarder of papers, boxes and other items, officials said. Friction from moving any papers or boxes could cause hidden explosives to ignite, officials said.

The additional HMTD discovered inside the house last week is in a bottle, Assistant San Diego County Sheriff Ed Prendergast said. PETN was also found inside the house, officials said.

"We have not removed it yet. It's too dangerous to move. Any movement can set it off," Prendergast said.

"We have a saying: We'll go as fast as we can but slow as we must," he added.