UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:53am
BRYAN -- Police in Bryan, Texas are warning people to stay away from plastic bottles that could contain harmful chemicals. Police received calls about possible gunfire Friday. That's when they found small bottles that had been ignited.
All the ingredients to the so called "bottle bombs" are in your home. Bryan Police think those who mixed the dangerous combination were pulling off a prank, but the explosion could have been deadly.
Fire Prevention Specialist, Jeff Wilhelm, says "When you're dealing with explosives, even if it is just a little water bottle, you can lose fingers out of it. You can lose your life."
Wilhelm says he has heard about these home-made bombs for years now. An incident in 2001 caused 23 people respiratory irritation after a student put a chemical bomb in a classroom in Rhode Island.
Gas pressure build caused by the mixing of ingredients in the container cause it to expand, eventually exploding. The bottle doesn't always explode immediately, leaving those who walk past vulnerable to the explosion.
Fire officials warn, if you see a bottle on the ground, don't touch it, and if the bottle begins to swell you're moments away from an explosion. They also say if you see a suspicious bottle with metal-like material in it. call the police to be safe.