Police Explode a Pipe Bomb Found in Forks Township

Police explode a shrapnel-filled pipe bomb found this morning at 1526 Hedgerow Court in Forks Township. The bomb had a cigarette for a timer.

At 11:50 this morning, police exploded a pipe bomb that was found in the yard of a house.

"It was the real deal," said Forks Police Chief Greg Dorney.

Dorney described the device as a 6-inch cylinder, wrapped in duct tape, with an 8- to 10-inche wick and a cigarette attached to it. The cigarette was the trigger mechanism, he said.

"The cigarette was a timing device and someone had tried to light it," Dorney said. "It was intended to go off."

Officials are working with ATF agents and have searched the area, but found no other devices. There are no suspects at this time, and police do not know if there was an intended target.

Police were called to the bucolic neighborhood at 8:34 a.m. to investigate what was described as a pipe bomb, according to a Northampton County 911.

The object was spotted by a landscaper at about 8:25 this morning at 1526 Hedgerow Ct. is about a half-mile away.

Police evacuated bystanders from the neighborhood of about a dozen houses, confined residents to their homes and closed traffic on Mitman Road between Dewalt Drive and Old Mill Road.

"This is the danger zone," said Forks Township Public Works Director Mark Roberts.

Roberts had confirmed that the object was a bomb packed with shrapnel.

Police said the Bethlehem Bomb Squad suited up to approach the object. The Squad had first used a robot to get close and x-ray it. That's when it was determined that the object was likely a live device.

When asked if it could be a prank by children, an officer said, "If it was kids, they really thought it out."

Roberts said he has nine public works crew members helping with road closures.

"This is a first for me" Roberts said, who has been public works director for five years.

At noon, personnel began to open the roads except those closest to the crime scene.

The landscaper who spotted it said the bomb was leaning against a fence post on the property. None of the landscape crew wanted to give their names. The property is owned by Lewis S. Fish, according to county property records.

"We were walking the dog by Heather Lane last night," said Veronica Beaulieu, a neighbor on Fox Ridge. "It's pretty scary when you think about it."

is on the scene as well as Northampton County's Emergency management team, and Bethlehem HazMat.

Until police started evacuating at about 10:30 a.m., the neighborhood was quiet. The landscapers, from Hursh's Landscaping in Emmaus, continued mowing lawns nearby. And a couple, who does a 4-mile walk around the neighborhood every morning, were a little put out. They said the road block added about a quarter mile to their walk, but they hadn't yet known about the bomb.

By 11 a.m., news vans and helicopters from as far as Philadelphia were on the scene. The investigation continues.


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