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Possible Homemade Bomb Explosion Shakes N.J. Neighborhood

No Injuries, But Plenty Of Frayed Nerves On Quiet Nutley Block
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Nutley, N.J. explosion

Police marked areas of the street where possible bomb fragments were found following an explosion on Jan. 4, 2011. (Photo/ CBS 2)

johnslattery John Slattery
John Slattery is a four-time Emmy Award-winning general assignment...
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NUTLEY, N.J. (CBS 2) — Was it a bomb?

A huge explosion rocked a quiet New Jersey neighborhood on Tuesday night, frightening residents.

At the scene of the explosion, three-dozen chalk marks showed where police located fragments from a device that neighbors said was tremendously loud.

“All of a sudden, there was a Boom and a fire ball,” one woman told CBS 2’s John Slattery. “And then there was like a ball of fire and I got scared and even my dog got scared.”

It happened in front of that woman’s home on Walnut Street, at 6:45 p.m.

“Heard the bang; house shook. My wife started running, ‘Check the furnace. Check the furnace,’” neighbor Robert Klatsky said.

With the blast out in the street, it did no structural damage, but it frayed people’s nerves, like the family of Tricia Politi.

“They thought, like a sonic boom. Incredibly loud, shook the houses. Everyone came outside to see what happened,” Politi said.

Police said it was a small device, but not firecrackers. It was made of paper and plastic, but not a pipe bomb. Investigators said people are increasingly seeking out recipes for building home-made bombs on the Internet.

“It could be anything from someone who we call ‘recreational bomber’ or someone who has another motive.” Nutley Police Lt. Steve Rogers told Slattery.

One woman was so rattled she stayed home from work on Wednesday. Police are grateful no one was hurt.

“What if a car was going over it at the precise time it went off? We’d be talking about someone dying right now,” Lt. Rogers said.

Police said the fragments were being analyzed and they may know the cause of the explosion by Friday.

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