Chemical mix causes mailbox to emit smoke

A juice bottle filled with chemicals that caused the bottle to expand and smoke brought authorities to a mailbox on the Redlands Thursday.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a mailbox near the intersection of Broadway and Canyon Creek Drive at 4:07 p.m. A woman who lives on the property had gone to check for mail and found smoke billowing out.

Upon arrival at the scene, the sheriff’s deputies inspected the mailbox and requested assistance from the Grand Junction Fire Department, who brought a truck and a bomb squad.

The suspicious item turned out to be a small plastic juice bottle that had been filled with chemicals that reacted and made the bottle expand, but not burst. The Sheriff’s Department would not say what chemicals were used, but said they were everyday household chemicals that could be found in a garage or purchased at a hardware store.

Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said there was no indication why this particular property and inhabitants were targeted.

There are no suspects in the case. Responding deputies suspect it was a juvenile prank.

Benjamin would like to strongly caution children about playing with chemicals, as it can be very dangerous and could cause unintended harm to themselves and others.


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