Chemicals that could possibly be used to make explosives were found inside a Queens home Tuesday night, hours after a fire broke out at the address, law enforcement officials said.
Chemicals that could possibly be used to make explosives were found inside a Queens home Tuesday night, hours after a fire broke out at the address, law enforcement officials said
Earlier in the afternoon, a man at the Astoria address was taken to the hospital with burns on his hands as a result of the blaze, according to police. As police and fire officials were at the scene, the landlord of the building flagged down firefighters to take a look inside some boxes inside the man’s home, a police source told NBC New York.
As much as 40 pounds of potassium nitrate was found at the home, a senior law enforcement official said, along with some fuses. Potassium nitrate, a chemical sometimes used to removed tree stumps, is legal to buy and own, and is a lesser compound than the more powerful ammonium nitrate. Police were looking into whether the potassium nitrate could be used to make explosives.
Two police sources said written materials on bomb-making were found at the location, but the senior law enforcement official said there was no indication that any explosives were being built or that there was any plot underway.
The identity of the man brought to the hospital for burns has not yet been released. A senior police official said he has arrests in his past for minor offenses, and may have been emotionally disturbed.
The FBI is assisting in the investigation, which is being led by the NYPD.