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UPDATED: Mystery explosions rock Greater Duncan

Bundled fireworks may be the culprit
Greater Duncan residents report upwards of three loud explosions in the early morning hours of Oct. 7 (Google)

At least two loud explosions rocked the greater Duncan area early Friday morning, the second occurring roughly around 4:30 a.m.

Both RCMP and BC Ambulance service personnel reported the two explosions to fire dispatch, as well as smoke in the area around Evans and Jubilee Streets.

Some 15 minutes later, RCMP were at the Shaw building at 35 Queens Rd. It appears the big bang had set off the alarms at that location.

Messages in Duncan B.C. Connected public Facebook group confirmed authorities weren’t the only ones hearing things.

“Anyone hearing loud explosions in Duncan starting at 4:30 a.m.?” posted Jeff Collicutt.

Residents from across Duncan, including near Chesterfield, Skinner, Lane, Sherman, Philips, Boys Roads report hearing two or three explosions.

“I heard two. Thought it was something hitting the water tower just off Gibbons,” wrote Teresa Wachter.

“Heard it close to Duncan Christian school at 4:36 a.m.,” added Lauren Cenname.

“I heard 2 as well. I grabbed my flashlight right away. Freaked me out. Can’t go back to sleep,” wrote Rosie George.

“heard it too, i caught just one shocked me out of bed, sounded like it was really close - Philips Rd here. last time i heard something similar - was a transformer exploding?” added Ashleigh Tritton.

“Heard it as well woke the whole house,” wrote Lucy Downey.

Investigations concluded before 5:15 a.m. having found nothing.

“They made patrols along with Fire Dept. but did not locate anything at all. They even checked the Shaw building which yielded nothing,” BC RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Alex Bérubé said. “There was also apparently a garbage truck going around pickup refuse with garbage container top doors slamming…”

One resident who asked not to be named lives near Garden Street and James Street, and says the explosion “must have been within 100 metres or so” of his residence and it certainly wasn’t the trash collectors.

“Holy smokes was I ever woken up in the middle of the night, it was such a loud bang,” he said of the explosion. “I went out on my balcony and I could see the area, the alleyway, over near the Pemberton Holmes/mechanic shop/fire department buildings.”

Admittedly a firework fiend as a younger man, the resident believes the explosions were caused by fireworks bundled together.

“It did kind of sound like fireworks because there were some small crackly noises afterward I could hear. I walk my dog every morning early before work and I was snooping around in the area that I heard it and there was red paper and mini firecrackers that would have been bundled up into a bigger firecracker. That might have been the more quiet explosion,” he said.

As for the second, much louder bang, he’s not as certain.

“I used to be really into fireworks as a kid and it seemed louder than anything you could buy here,” said the resident. “Maybe it was a bunch of fireworks taped together or some other type of homemade incendiary device. I thought maybe it was a transformer, but seeing all the evidence of fireworks makes me think it wasn’t that.”