Bomb squad units discard their protective gear on the ground after exploding pipe bombs Monday.
Bomb squad units discard their protective gear on the ground after exploding pipe bombs Monday.
MADISON — Three pipe bombs found stored in a Styrofoam cooler by a woman cleaning out her garage were safely exploded here Monday afternoon.

The woman was cleaning out her garage following her husband’s death last year and came upon the cooler, officials said. She moved the cooler into her kitchen, called a friend and the friend called police.

Police say the incident that began about noon is still under investigation but they have no leads and no one in the house knows anything.

Woodland Drive off Hoy Road in Bradford Place where the home is located was barricaded for several hours as law enforcement officers from several agencies worked to safely diffuse the explosives.  

Police received a call at 12:15 p.m. after the homeowner found the suspicious materials.

"Members of the Madison Police and Fire Departments responded and upon arrival and meeting with the resident observed three potentially explosive items resembling pipe bombs in the resident’s kitchen," Madison police said in a release.

"The residence was evacuated along with residences adjacent to, behind and across the street from the home."

The FBI and Clinton Bomb Squad were then called to the scene for their assistance, along with Pafford EMS as a precaution.

"Further interview with the homeowner determined she was cleaning out her garage when she observed what appeared to be the explosive devices. She secured the devices in a Styrofoam cooler moved them to the kitchen and contacted a family friend," the release stated. "The friend then contacted the police department."

At 1:55, the items were removed from the home and destroyed in a controlled detonation in the front yard that was heard throughout Madison.

"Persons living in the residence stated they had no prior knowledge of the items," police said. "One family member could not be interviewed as he had previously passed away approximately a year ago. The matter is being investigated further by the Madison Police Department with further assistance from the FBI, ATF and the Clinton Bomb Squad."

A resident of the neighborhood who was standing outside said she heard a loud bang in the afternoon that startled her.

Another neighbor, a professional magician, videoed the removal and explosion and posted to Facebook with “Mission Impossible” theme music.

The woman neighbor requested to remain anonymous, but said that “you would kind of get an eerie feeling when you passed by the house in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.”

The late husband was known to have frequented meetings of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

The woman neighbor said it was “common knowledge in the neighborhood” the previous resident butted heads with the city over a storage unit he built and over a hearse he kept parked outside his house.