Explosion at Firefighter's Bedford Co. Home Investigated

Bedford Co., VA - The decision on whether to charge a volunteer firefighter for an explosion at his Bedford County home could come Thursday, according to the Chief Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney.

Deputies responded to Joseph Mitchell's property on Gross Hollow Road in Blue Ridge Sunday afternoon. The sheriff's office says Mitchell told deputies he put an explosive, but legal, compound called Tannerite inside a junk car.

Deputies say Mitchell and his buddies used the car for rifle target practice. A bullet hit and the car exploded.

"It's our understanding that the people that were there participating were a good distance away from the vehicle," said Major Ricky Gardner. "We don't feel like anyone's life was put in danger."

Mitchell is the Vice President of the Montvale Volunteer Fire Company. Chief Scott Hawkins says he's waiting to see if charges are filed against Mitchell before taking any disciplinary action.