Domestic Dispute Leads To Hazmat, Bomb Squad Call

SPRINGDALE BOROUGH, Pa. — A call about a domestic dispute ended with the Allegheny County bomb squad spending hours at a Springdale Borough home.

Channel 4 Action News’ Amber Nicotra reported police were called to a home in the 900 block of Lincoln Avenue around 1:30 a.m. Friday.

After police arrived, they discovered a number of hazardous chemicals in the house, some of which were potentially explosive.

“They were just wearing entry suits and SBA chemical suits and a self contained breathing apparatus, just in case there was something inside that was hazardous to their health,” said Springdale Fire Chief Kevin Wilhelm.

Jim Gibbs, who lives in the home, is a chemical engineer. He told Nicotra that has lived in the home for nearly 60 years and stores his chemicals in a separate building.

Gibbs told Nicotra that he would never hurt anyone and that the incident started because he had an argument with his girlfriend and she called police, saying he had chemicals to make bombs.

“She called the police and said I had all kinds of dangerous chemicals in the house which, I have chemicals, but nothing dangerous,” Gibbs said. “I’m no threat, they all know me. I’ve lived here for 58 years and never done nothing.”

A hazmat team was also called to the scene to investigate the chemicals. Police told Nicotra they searched the home and found chemicals, but there was nothing dangerous.

Other people in the area said that they know Gibbs is a chemist and that he’s a good neighbor.

“I don’t know how this happened. He’s a chemist, so I understand why he had chemicals in the house. But it’s always been like that. He comes over and shows us cool stuff with it,” said Tatiana Thomas.

Nicotra reported that after a thorough search, investigators packed up, ruling that both Gibbs and his home were safe. Wilhelm told WTAE that authorities don’t expect to file charges in connection with the chemicals.

Gibbs said that in spite of the long night, he was never worried.

“I knew everything was fine. There is nothing that’s illegal,” he said.

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