Police officers discovered Tuesday what they believe to be bomb-making materials in a Madison-area apartment building, Timberlake Village Apartments.
The Madison Police Department obtained a search warrant Wednesday for the apartment of Brian Campbell, a 30-year-old resident of Madison’s west side.
Officials found chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, isopropyl alcohol and other toxins. It appeared as though objects had been heated in the apartment. Officials also found equipment to burn flammable liquids. Photos showed chemical burns on the rug and walls of the unit, along with a large fan cooling down a chemical solution.
The operations manager of the apartment complex said that several residents complained about the odor, which eventually led staff to Campbell’s unit. They also saw glass and chemistry powders scattered throughout the unit.
The building was immediately evacuated out of fear a chemical reaction could endanger residents. MPD was eventually able to rule out the apartment as a meth lab, but continued searching for a purpose of the chemicals in the apartment.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, all of the chemicals found in Campbell’s apartment — specifically ammonium nitrate — are common in bomb manufacturing.
Police were later granted a warrant to search Campbell’s on-site garage unit, which contained higher volumes of volatile chemicals. MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said the EPA immediately dispatched officials from its regional office in Chicago to further assess the site.
“The next morning, experts from the Environmental Protection Agency arrived from Chicago in order to determine the timeframe for cleanup,” DeSpain said.
DeSpain said some unidentified chemicals will take longer to remove from the premises.
Campbell’s motive in possessing such chemicals is currently unknown. He was arrested for second-degree reckless endangerment as a number of the chemicals found in the apartment and garage could have created a potentially dangerous situation.
He may appear in court this week after staying in the Dane County Jail until Friday.