Orange County homes evacuated after chemicals found

50 homes evacuated over chemicals, deputies say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Officials who removed the volatile chemicals that prompted the evacuation of 50 homes in east Orange County on Wednesday night now believe there were no criminal intentions.

Orange County Fire Rescue said they received a call Wednesday morning about magnesium in a shed at a home on La Crosse Avenue off Lake Pickett Road in the Alafaya Palms Manufactured Home Community.

Deputies later said they found the volatile chemicals in the shed and the home. The chemicals have since been removed and turned over to OSCO for disposal, deputies said.

Initially, one mobile home was evacuated, but deputies later evacuated 50 homes after several different chemicals were located, according to sheriff's officials.

Officials said a man cleaning out a shed belonging to a deceased family member found some chemicals and reported it to the fire department, which ended up causing a neighborhood evacuation.

Investigators believe the deceased man was a fireworks enthusiast who had chemicals for his own personal use.

The homes are located on Wesleyan Boulevard and La Crosse, Marquette, Rockhurst and Kent State avenues, near state roads 50 and 408.  Some roadways in the area were closed as more than 100 people watched and waited to be let back into their homes.

"They started showing up a couple of hours again, slowly, one unit at a time, pulling in. Then they started blocking off roads," said neighbor Greg Larsen.

Larsen said he and his family have lived in the area for about 10 years and says he's not surprised about the emergency activity.

"Everyday something new is happening in that trailer park across the street," he said. "Cops in and out, ambulances, a house on fire. So it's just another day."

There were no reports of injury to firefighters, law enforcement officials or civilians, deputies said.

The EOD has been in contact with the FBI during this process.

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