Small explosion leads to large-scale investigation at home in Waldo; man in custody

WALDO -- Sheboygan County Sheriff's officials say a man was arrested for violating his parole following an explosion at a home in Waldo on Saturday, February 20th. Materials to make explosives and fireworks, including unknown chemicals were recovered from the man's home, and some neighbors had to be evacuated.

Sheboygan County Sheriff's officials were called out to the home near 2nd and Hammon in Waldo around 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, February 20th for a report of a possible explosion.

"I had just gotten back from Sheboygan and I was sitting with the dogs and all of a sudden 'boom' and my dog jumped off the couch and jumped on my lap and was shaking, and I'm like 'oh, here we go again!' I looked out my window and the police were here," neighbor Ann Senstad said.

Investigation at home in Waldo after explosion

Upon arrival, deputies observed several of the home's front porch windows broken, and they appeared to have been blown out.

The homeowner was observed cleaning up glass, and indicated the damage was a result of a welding accident.

After further investigation and a search of the home, officials found evidence of materials to make explosives and fireworks -- including unknown chemicals.

The homeowner was taken into custody for violating the conditions of his parole.

Investigation at home in Waldo after explosion

No one was hurt.

Officials say the origin of the explosion Saturday hasn't been determined.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office's Bomb Squad was requested to respond to the home to assist with this investigation.

Investigation at home in Waldo after explosion

After officials' initial observations at the home, it was requested that the home be secured until Sunday morning, when further investigation could occur in the light of day.

Officials said there was no immediate danger to any neighbors on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning, officials returned to the home in Waldo to continue the investigation. The Waldo Fire Department, Orange Cross Ambulance, AFT, 54th Civil Support Team (a branch of the National Guard) and the emergency government director assisted.

The Bomb Squad and AFT conducted a search of the home and it was at their recommendation that neighbors were evacuated as officials were going to start removing and manipulating the discovered material.

Officials say a large amount of firework-making material was located as well as other unidentified chemicals.

Veolia North America was contacted to assist with the disposal of the chemicals.

Investigation at home in Waldo after explosion

Officials say the homeowner is currently on parole for a 2008 criminal case where he was convicted of possession of improvised explosives. In that case, he was found in possession of large amounts of explosive chemicals. He was also convicted of bail jumping for violating his parole in 2012 when he was found with large amounts of firework-making chemicals.

Investigation at home in Waldo after explosion

"It's loud. It's loud. Last year he was making our windows shake in our house," neighbor Marie Pocian said.

"He blew his windows out. He's never done that before," Senstad said.

Neighbors say this man's alleged experimentation with pyrotechnics needs to come to an end, because for them, it's a quality of life issue.

"It affects my dogs, that`s for sure. My dogs were not happy, so that bothers me. I just think it`s foolish. I think it`s dangerous," Senstad said.

Investigation in Waldo at home near 2nd and Hammon