SH car explosion under investigation

Sweet Home police are investigating an explosion inside a vehicle parked in the 1600 block of Main Street early Tuesday morning.

Police Chief Jeff Lynn said at approximately 2:05 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, officers responded to a reported explosion at 1639 Main St., which is an apartment complex.

When police arrived, they located evidence of an explosion inside of a vehicle, Lynn said.

“The vehicle was unoccupied and there were no injuries reported.”

The damage was contained to the single vehicle involved, a 1994 Ford Mustang that was inoperable at the time of call and belonged to a resident at the apartment complex, Matthew McWhirter, 31, Lynn said.

He said McWhirter was not home at the time of the incident.

“Due to concerns of additional explosive devices, the residents of 1639 Main Street were evacuated. Two families were taken to and housed in a local motel,” he said.

Members of the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit responded to assist with the investigation.

Evidence of a commercially manufactured fireworks device was found and seized, Lynn said.

He said further investigation is under way and details will be released when available. The New Era will post any updates at