GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – One person has been arrested for what police believe to be an intentionally set explosion in Greenfield.
According to Lt. Todd Dodge of the Greenfield Police Department, 53-year-old Daniel Burrell is accused of intentionally setting off an explosion on Union Street Thursday afternoon. He pleaded not guilty Friday in Greenfield District Court. Burrell is facing six charges, including multiple explosives charges, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.
“The defendant stated to officers that he was, ‘bored,’ so he decided to try to blow up one of his camping propane tanks.”Prosecutors in the courtroom Friday
That led to a response involving a Hazmat team, the bomb squad and the FBI. Prosecutors wanted the bail to be set at $15,000 but Burrell’s attorney was able to have that lowered to $5,000 with an agreed upon mental health evaluation. He is due back in court on September 8.
Acting Chief William Gordon told 22News the device was a propane tank that was covered in a cloth and set on fire. Police say several unexploded, suspected incendiary devices were also found inside the Union Street home.
Burrell lived in the home where the explosives were found, according to Lt. Dodge.
One house was evacuated and people in several other nearby homes were told to shelter in place.
“I was just sitting in my room on my computer and then all we heard was a loud explosion and you could feel the shock wave come through your chest. We thought someone was messing around with like firecrackers and dynamite or someone shot a gun,” said Greenfield resident Raymond Alicea, who was one of the ten people in the home on Union Street in Greenfield where an explosive went off.
“Greenfield Police received a call at 2:58 this afternoon for a reported explosion at 41 Union Street and what they found when they arrived was an apparent incendiary device that had exploded in the backyard of the residence,” said Aaron Kupec, Director of Communications for the Town of Greenfield.
Acting Chief Gordon told 22News they believe that the incident was intentional, “Little camping propane tank that appeared to be wrapped in a cloth, and the cloth was set on fire and we believe that the tank overheated and exploded. We believe it was intentional.”
Neighbors told 22News they feel unsafe knowing that this was happening in their building.
“We live inside the building and he threw a bomb outside my sister’s window. Like, it’s unbelievably scary.
I’m glad he’s arrested, I’m glad that the situation got dealt with. I’m glad no one got hurt, that’s the main thing,” said Alicea.
“He’s been in this apartment for over 10 years. It’s an apartment building his brother owns. He’s lived in Greenfield for over 25 years. I would suggest he is not in any way a flight risk,” said Kim Lapseritis of Greenfield.
Kim lives next door to Burrell. She heard the blast Thursday and was evacuated. She said she knows Daniel and even took care of his pets.
“Not surprised but that didn’t minimize it,” said Kim. “I just sent his brother a text telling them, ‘I’m so sorry and so sad for what has happened.'”
Crews from Greenfield Fire Department, Department of Fire Services District 4 Hazardous Materials Team, Massachusetts State Police Crime Services, Detective Unit, and Bomb Team, and the Vermont State Police Bomb Squad are assisting.
Officers say no one has been injured and the area is secure. Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening, Union Street was reopened to the public.