This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Residents allowed to return home after Barrie, Ont., home cleared of bombs

BARRIE, Ont. - Special teams of police investigators say they have neutralized the danger of a Barrie, Ont., home filled with explosives and nearly 60 people living in the neighbourhood were given the green light to return home a week after an evacuation.

"We told all the residents that they can come home to their own beds tonight," said Barrie police Const. Angela Butler.

The all-clear comes after squads of Ontario Provincial Police, RCMP and forensics experts finished clearing the home Thursday afternoon, removing a total of 83 improvised explosive devices — including pipe bombs and remote-detonation explosives stuffed into the walls — and containers full of unidentified chemicals.

Those evacuated from some 20 homes in the neighbourhood last Thursday can head back any time they like, she said.

"I got to tell them personally myself. It was a great feeling," Butler said.

The investigation of the property will continue, Butler said earlier Thursday, noting officers will remain on hand to process evidence and watch over the scene.

In addition to the explosives, some of which were detonated on site, police scouring the home have also found a cache of 29 firearms including three rifles, two shotguns and a civilian version of an MP5 submachine gun, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Ten of those weapons were pulled from an underground fallout shelter running at least 4.5 metres long and more than 2 metres deep dug into the home's backyard, Butler said.

The search began last Thursday after police arrested a father and son in connection with the decades-old slaying of Michael Traynor.

The investigation into Traynor's death went cold shortly after his body was found in a wooded area in 1978.

Donald Feldhoff, 54, was charged with first-degree murder after he went to police. His 75-year-old father William has been charged as an accessory after the fact, and appeared in court Thursday morning.

Police anticipate laying further charges against the pair. An investigator involved with the search said last week that they hadn't discovered on the property that was linked to the 1978 case.

Butler said there were no explosives found in the bunker. She said she could not divulge what kind of chemicals were found since they are considered evidence.

The bunker was split into two rooms and stocked with food, water and clothes, she said. It was also equipped with a toilet, a ventilation system and two-way radios.

The city of Barrie approved a permit in 1984 to build the shelter, which police photos show crammed with boxes and jugs of liquid.

Butler said police briefed residents about the investigation each day, which proceeded at a snail's pace to make sure the dangerous home was completely safe.

The more investigators looked, the more suspicious devices they found, Butler said.

The process went slowly since search teams "could move two steps forward then move four steps back after finding something they weren't expecting," she said before the evacuation ended.

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact