...would officials burn a house filled with explosives. I'm not going to go into the details, The Chem Blog covers them quite well. I would strongly suggest reading that entry. The short story is that police found a house with an unknown quantity of explosives and other chemicals in it. Rather than remove them, they plan to torch the place. Seriously.
They are taking precautionary steps like oh, say, evacuating 200 homes, shutting down the nearby freeway, installing firewalls... but still, doesn't this strike you as a wee bit insane? They have no idea what all is in the house, so why does burning it seem like such a great idea? They have no idea what they will be burning and releasing into the environment.
I can guarentee that the media circus of California will be watching the whole episode from helicopters, planes and the ground, and video will certianly be widely circulated when the day of the bonfire comes. And others will be monitoring the air for whatever is released, sure to incite hysteria. This will be fun to watch, but I'm glad I'm almost 2000 miles away.