Live ammunition remains at scrap metal yard

Business owners, residents upset
February 14, 2008 8:06:53 AM PST
Fort Bragg officials say they will continue their operation at Raleigh Metals Processors into Thursday.

About every 30 minutes to an hour, an explosion rang out Tuesday night across South Raleigh.

Every time one goes off, Doug Davis' heart skips a beat. He owns The Barn -- a bar down the road from the scrap metal yard.

Davis, who is also a Vietnam veteran, was startled out of bed last night when the first planned explosion happened.

"I jumped out of bed," Davis said. "Nobody told me they were going to do it, you know, so it scared [me]."

Davis says he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, but there's something weighing even more heavily on his mind right now. His bas is virtually shut down because Garner Road is closed.

"I didn't make hardly anything yesterday," Davis said. "I haven't made a cent today. And it looks like I may not make anything tomorrow. I have rent to pay."

He doesn't know who to blame. He isn't all that upset with scrap yard owner Greg Brown.

Brown held a press conference in front of The Barn Wednesday after flying in from his home in Detroit. Brown explained the incident happened Tuesday as workers were compacting metal.

"As some of it was being fed into the baler there were, there was at least one explosion, the press has mentioned two explosions," Brown said.

Brown says he does know who brought the explosives to his facility and has told local and federal investigators. He does not know exactly what the munitions are or how many there are. He also says he does not know why no one realize what it was since Raleigh Metals Processors doesn't accept explosives.

Residents who were evacuated from the area are also upset.

They say they were left scared because Raleigh Police didn't give them enough information. They say they also weren't given information about changes to school bus routes.

Park Creek Apartment residents say police waited three hours to tell them they found live ammunition down the street from their home.

"I do feel deeply in my heart that the officers who are here to protect and serve, should have came into the community, knocked on everybody's doors, and let people know," resident Tera Murphy said. "Look, there's something,an explosion going on."

Police spokesperson Jim Shugrue said, "It took some time to get information together and to assess the situation."

The only apartment complex that was evacuated was right across the street from the scrap yard. Murphy does not live in that complex. She lives less than 500 feet away but police say she and other Park Creek residents were never in danger.

"The area was carefully evacuated and the determination was made that these people could stay here and be safe," Shugrue said.

That does not ease Murphy's concerns. "I feel deeply that the officers should be more concerned about it because at the end of the day, their families are safe," she said.

There was also confusion Wednesday morning about school buses. Some came, but one didn't make it down Garner Road, which was closed.

"I have to take my son to school," Murphy said. "Even though I work third shift, I have to take him all the way to Westlake. That's Apex."

Police say they did their best to inform nearby residents, but they'll make adjustments if needed in the future.

Bar owner Davis says police have told him there may be as many as 50 rounds remaining at the scrap metal yard.

So far 16 rounds have been detonated.

Ft. Bragg officials say they have identified 21 rounds and are looking at others but have not said how many.


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