What are energetic materials?

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A controlled burn of energetic materials in Chicopee Thursday night caused people to be evacuated from their homes.

According to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, energetic materials are classified as “explosives, pyrotechnics, and propellants.” But the State Department of Fire Services told 22News we may never know exactly what the material was.

A spokesperson for the department, Jennifer Meith said the material was “quite dangerous” because it was outside and exposed to the elements.

Controlled burn of harmful materials in Chicopee caused evacuations, shelter-in-place orders

Due to those circumstances, it was unpredictable how it would react, in large part because it wasn’t stored properly, hence the large response.

Chicopee Mayor John Vieau told 22News they weren’t sure how long the materials had been there, but that they had to be removed immediately.

“The reason why we’re calling it that, is because it was never really tested so no one knows exactly what it was,” Vieau said. “They have an idea of how flammable it was that it could be a major concern from what had happened the day before.”

The state Department of Fire Services told 22News they will not being testing the material because there are no charges being brought against the homeowner. They say that homeowner died before the incident and the energetic material has no connection to their death.

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