Goodyear residents rattled by 'loud explosions' at church

Posted at 7:55 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 21:55:58-05

Goodyear residents are growing concerned over 'loud explosions' coming from a community church.

“It sounds like a concussion grenade,” said Goodyear resident Ken Rittenhouse. 

Over the last two days, the church off of Thomas and Dysart roads has been using compressed gas to cause small explosions underground. 

Ken Rittenhouse says this isn't the first time the loud explosions have been heard. 

“They did this initially back in November and then again in January, and then again just the other day,” said Rittenhouse, who lives in a neighborhood behind the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

“It’s a process the church across the street uses to get rid of their gopher problem,” said Jonathan Robles with Estrella Mountain Community College. “I wouldn’t say a sonic boom but its just a loud boom.”

Drone video shows workers lighting those explosions around the property.

Although there is nothing illegal with this technique, it has nearby residents concerned.

“It startled us quite a bit, had to peel me off the ceiling,” said Rittenhouse. 

School officials with nearby Estrella Mountain Community College even alerted their student body. 

“We want to make sure it’s not a huge disruption in their day and create a fear factor,” said Robles. 

Neighbors also voiced concerns over burrowing owl habitats housed at the college. Worried the noise and impact of the explosions my disturb their mating season. However, a rescue group who cares for those habitats told ABC15 that the owls are just fine and the explosions pose no danger. 

Goodyear City Code Enforcement has told the church to notify the city the next time they do this type of abatement work in order for the city to notify nearby neighborhoods.