Police arrested 53-year-old Marc Hibel last week on a felony wanton endangerment charge after he admitted to having the explosive chemical TNP, or picric acid, in his home and to making homemade explosives. The Louisville Metro Police Department’s bomb squad exploded a device in the back of one of the properties he was occupying at 6211 and 6213 Applegate Lane. Hibel is a trained chemist.Mayor Craig Greenberg said at a Tuesday news conference that some chemicals remain in the home, but because of an “extreme hoarding situation,” it’s impossible for a hazmat crew or robot to remove them safely.“The only option to safely proceed is to incinerate the chemicals inside the home by setting a planned, monitored and controlled burn of the house, which will combust any of the chemicals that are present inside the home,” he said.
Makes you wonder where he was getting the picric acid from. (Also, this reminds me of the 2012 controlled burn of a 'bomb factory' house in San Diego.)
I've never felt the need to be a home chemist, although I do really want to start a liquor distillation setup someday. Nevertheless, there are clearly people who really do want to do experimental laboratory chemistry at home and it just seems to be such a strange phenomena. I imagine there are many home chemists who do it well, but it feels like there are many more people* who end up gathering massive collections of chemicals.
*who are we kidding, it's men