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Demolition of condemned South Jordan home begins

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Demolition began Tuesday on a South Jordan home where police discovered homemade explosives after a standoff in 2019. 

Police responded to the home at 3371 W. Snow Moon Place near Bangerter Highway and 10400 South in July 2020, when they said the homeowner fired shots at them while they tried to serve a search warrant.

That warrant was issued in response to threats made to a local business.

Threats lead to standoff

Police say when they pulled up in an armored vehicle, Ryan McManigal fired shots at them, 13 in all. He surrendered after his weapon jammed, according to court documents. 

Once in custody, McManigal allegedly told investigators he possessed large amounts of triacetone triperoxide, an explosive also known as TATp. He also claimed to have methyl ethyl ketone peroxide, or MEKp, in the house. Investigators found about 20 pounds of explosives, the largest amount some said they had ever witnessed in one location. 

Experts detonated some of the homemade explosives found inside the home, realizing it could not safely be removed. Residents 2 miles away could hear the blasts. 

McManigal faces felony charges that include attempted murder, criminal mischief and possession or use of a weapon of mass destruction, related to that series of events. 

South Jordan sues for demolition

In March, the city of South Jordan filed a lawsuit to tear down the house. While the detonations last summer removed most of the explosives, they also damaged the home. According to the lawsuit, the force of the detonations “lifted the entire first floor of the home several inches off of the foundation.” 

Additionally, city leaders worried that some explosive materials could have seeped into carpet or splashed on walls. The city described the home as a “literal minefield” in its legal filing. For example, several months after the standoff, a man suffered critical injuries during another explosion at the home after stepping on an area that contained crystallized TATp. They argued the only way to completely remove all of the explosives and residue would be a complete demolition of the South Jordan structure. 

Keeping neighbors safe

On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, demolition work began at the South Jordan home. 

“We appreciate our residents and their patience as we have worked through the process for taking this house down,” said Rachael Van Cleave, South Jordan public information officer, in a news release. “We are all relieved that this house will be gone and that this community can make a fresh start.”

The demolition process involves tearing down the structure, before the South Jordan Fire Department oversees burning of the basement. City officials expected the process to take a few days, but said nearby residents and businesses did not need to evacuate. 

“We will be managing the operation, working with a contracted demolition property and other agencies, to ensure it is done in the safest way and with the least impact to residents as possible,” said Chief Chris Dawson of the South Jordan Fire Department.

Once completed, McGanigal, who still owns the property, will decide what happens to it next. He still awaits trial on charges related to last summer’s events. His next court date is scheduled for August. 

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