Fort Wayne police believe an improvised bomb packing the force of a half-pound of TNT blew up a car early Wednesday morning, leaving the vehicle smoldering in a north-side parking lot.
Police and firefighters responded at about 1:09 a.m. Wednesday to the 3900 block of Newport Avenue after receiving reports of a loud explosion and a car smoking in the parking lot of an apartment complex, said police spokeswoman Officer Raquel Foster.
First responders found a 1999 Buick Regal – completely destroyed – in the parking lot, Foster said in a statement. Investigators said the blast was powerful enough to blow out the windows of a nearby apartment and send parts of the car to the top of a two-story building.
“What's disturbing about the incident is just how extensive the blast was,” Foster said.
Officers with the Fort Wayne Police Department's bomb squad and agents with the Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives bureau determined an improvised explosive device – or IED – caused the blast, Foster said.
While Foster would not discuss the details of the bomb, she said investigators determined it was made with common items that could be found around the house. Police also believe someone planted the bomb with malicious intent – not just as a prank gone wrong – she said.
“We do believe there was intent to cause harm or cause damage,” she said.
Investigators found the car's front windshield on the roof of a two story building and the rear windshield, among other debris, atop another building, Foster said.
The incident remains under investigation by Fort Wayne police and the ATF. Anyone with information about the explosion can call police at 427-1222 or Crime Stoppers at 436-STOP (436-7867).