LAKELAND, Fla. - The quiet routine of this Lakeland Mobile Home Park has been forever interrupted after the explosion yesterday that sent 78 year-old Barbara Cunningham to the hospital with critical injuries:
"This," explained Walter Wells, "was the biggest excitement I ever seen happen here."
Walter lives right across the street from 1754 Fox Hill Drive where three of four explosive devices stored in a freezer went off.
"But that's the story," he told us. "(It) got around in this area that there was a bomb device in the freezer."
"That's very very strange," echoed Joseph Cristodero. "It had to be planted by somebody," he surmised. "Who knows?"
Who, indeed. Seeing a truck parked in the home's driveway (that neighbors identified as belonging to family members) we approached... But no one would answer the door. And while Ms. Cunninham's condition has been upgraded from critical to serious, no one is offering any explanation for the storage of explosives in a kitchen appliance.
Lakeland Police and Fire investigators are going over what they found in that freezer and they're being led by the State Fire Marshall's office -- who will only confirm that there is an on-going investigation. How those devices got into the freezer or excactly what they were -- no one's saying.
"I don't know who would do it," said a perplexed Jane Ruhl, sitting on her front porch with a view of the explosion scene. "Do they hunt," she asked. "Maybe they would wrap some food in it...That's the only thing I could think of."
Neighborhood speculation and rumors ran wild, but so far, nothing is being said -- on the record. Explosives experts say there is no reason for any explosive device to be stored in a freezer and that this explosion was a needless accident.
And experts with the Fire Marshall's Office are quick to point out that they are getting to the bottom of this but that no one else in this neighborhood need worry.
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