Darrell Winegar of Winegar Construction, 953 E. Main Blvd., said his workers were doing some remodeling in the building around 10:30 a.m. Thursday when they came across the case of dynamite.
“It had been stored in a cabinet for years, actually before I ever moved into the building,” Winegar said. “I’ve been there almost 20 years, and I didn’t know it was there. We’re getting ready to do some remodeling and put some new offices in an old section of the building.
“The guys were back there tearing it out, they opened the cabinet, and there it was.”
Winegar said he initially called Kingsport Police Chief Gale Osborne, an old friend, to ask advice. Osborne advised him to call the Church Hill Department of Public Safety, which in turn requested assistance from the KPD Bomb Squad.
“There was no scare or excitement or anything like that,” said Winegar. “We just didn’t exactly know how to get rid of it, so they came and got it for us.”
Church Hill Police Chief Mark Johnson said Winegar did the right thing by calling police about the dynamite. The best policy is to let the experts handle explosives disposal, Johnson said.
“There was really no danger, but it was a situation where it didn’t need to be there,” Johnson said. “When someone finds dynamite or any other type of explosive they just need to leave it in place and call us. Normally dynamite isn’t going to explode for no reason, but it’s still dangerous and should be reported so we can get people who are experts to come remove it.”
Winegar said he wrote a letter to Osborne to express his gratitude for the Bomb Squad’s assistance. He said he was grateful to Johnson and the Church Hill fire and police departments as well.
“They handled it well, and it’s comforting to have someone close by who knows how to handle that sort of thing,” Winegar said. “They were fast and efficient, and there was no charge. I assumed we’d have to pay a pretty good amount for that kind of thing, but there was no charge, and as it turned out it was easy.”