SoCal "Bomb Factory" Owners Want Money: Report

By Mari Payton
|  Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011  |  Updated 1:27 PM PDT
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Bomb House Clean Up

AP

A house erupts in flames on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 during the controlled burn of a home in Escondido, Calif., that was so packed with homemade explosives that authorities claim they had no choice but to burn it to the ground. The house was rented by an out-of-work software consultant who allegedly assembled an astonishing quantity of bomb-making materials that included chemicals used by Middle Eastern suicide bombers. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

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Burning Down the House

After weeks of planning, authorities set fire to the bomb house.

Bomb House Fire From Lookout Point

News photographers weren't the only ones who stayed nearby to watch the house burn in Escondido
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The owners of the so-called "bomb factory" that was burned down in Escondido last month are reportedly demanding at least $500,000 for their loss.

The homeowners are listed as Niel and Michele Mamerto, according to Thomas Bunton, who represents the county.

E-mails obtained by the North County Times show an exchange between Bunton and the homeowner's attorney Steven McKinley. In an e-mail, dated Dec. 15, McKinley asks for at least $500,000 for "property damage, distress and inconvenience."

Bunton told NBC that the county had not officially responded to the request, but they were going to do so "relatively shortly." He doesn't believe the homeowners will get any money.

"They are not legally entitled to any compensation. This was an emergency," said Bunton.

He says the best option for the homeowners is to file a claim with their insurance company.

A call to the homeowner's attorney for comment was not returned.

Unstable chemicals were found inside the so-called "bomb factory" after a gardener stepped on explosive residue and was hurt. Authorities said the materials were too dangerous to remove.

The home's tenant, George Jakubec, has pleaded not guilty to bank robbery and making destructive devices.

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