UPDATE – OCT. 21, 12:39 p.m.

WILLISTON, ND (KXNET) — The Williston Fire Department says, as of today, only one apartment remains unauthorized for occupancy following last week’s incident involving explosive materials and an evacuation of affected apartment buildings.

The fire department has been working with the city and a third-party hazardous materials remediation company to make apartments safe for people to return to once again.

“The Fire Prevention Division of the Fire Department and Building Safety will continue to work with property management to ensure the safe return of occupancy for the remaining unit,” the fire department said in a statement.


UPDATE – OCT. 17, 2:09 p.m.

WILLISTON, ND (KXNET) — The Williston Fire Department says the neighboring building next to the one where the explosive materials were found was opened up to residents to return Friday night. However, the affected building has four apartments that are not cleared for the occupants to return. The Fire Marshal is working with the property’s management to arrange for a clean-up company to come in to complete decontamination and ensure the apartments are safe to occupy once again.


UPDATE – OCT. 17, 12:48 p.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — On Saturday, October 15, the Williston Police Department released the explosive materials scene to the Williston Fire Department. The Fire Department will be continuing with remedial operations to ensure the building is safe before residents reenter their homes.

Investigation into the event is ongoing, and charges for Ross Michael Petrie are still pending with the Williams County State Attorney’s Office. The process is taking longer than expected due to the vast amounts of evidence and information uncovered over the past week.

The Williston Police Department also thanked the agencies assisting the buildings’ residents, as well as the community, for supporting the police during the investigation.


UPDATE – OCT. 14, 12:00 p.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — The Williston Police Department has confirmed at this time there has been an estimated 1471 lbs of explosive materials located within the residence in Williston. The explosive materials that have been found consist of powders and chemicals to make homemade ordinances.

It is estimated that approximately 924 lbs of explosive materials have been destroyed up to this point. These explosive materials have been identified as homemade, which makes the disposal process time-consuming with unknown variables.

The Williston Police Department along with bomb squad teams were also able to identify two separate labs within the apartment. The nature of these labs was not disclosed by the police at this time.

Williston police also thanked the following agencies that have been helping with the situation:

  • Williams County Sheriff’s Office
  • North Dakota Highway Patrol
  • Willison Fire Department
  • Williston Rural Fire
  • Tioga Ambulance
  • McKenzie County Ambulance
  • Minot Bomb Squad
  • Bismarck Bomb Squad
  • Fargo Bomb Squad
  • North Dakota National Guard 81st Civil Support Team
  • FBI
  • ATF
  • Emergency Management Services
  • Salvation Army (Assisting with feeding all of our people working)
  • Williston Public Works

UPDATE – OCT. 14, 8:00 a.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — The Minot and Bismarck bomb squads are expected to resume disposal of explosive materials found inside a Williston apartment several days ago. The plan is to start up around mid-morning, according to Williston authorities.

The Williston Police Department has Ross Michael Petrie in custody. Charges are still pending with the Williams County State’s Attorney’s Office.

A media briefing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today.


UPDATE – Oct. 13, 10:57 a.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — The Williston Police Department has requested assistance from the North Dakota National Guard’s 81st Civil Support Team to help analyze and identify the explosive materials that have been found in the Williston apartment.

Williston police also reported that the Minot and Bismarck Bomb Squads have resumed operations in Williston today. Police are once again reminding residents that they may hear explosive noises as the explosive items are safely disposed of.

The scene is still under investigation and has not been deemed safe for residents to return to their homes. The investigation into the explosive materials is still active.


UPDATE – Oct. 12, 6:17 p.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad are shutting down operations for the evening.

Operations cannot continue safely without sufficient lighting. They will resume operations on October 13, in the mid-morning hours. The scene will remain secured by law enforcement.

The Williston Fire Department will also remain at the scene for safety and assistance.

The Williston Police Department has a 28-year-old male suspect in custody. Charges are still pending with the Williams County State’s Attorney’s Office, the charges and name of the suspect will be released once available.

The 28-year-old has been identified as Ross Michael Petrie who has been officially charged with release of destructive forces.

The scene is still under investigation and has not been deemed safe for residents to return to their homes.

The investigation into the explosive materials is still active.

More information will continue to be provided as it becomes available to the released.


UPDATE – Oct. 12, 4:02 p.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — The Williston Police Department has suspended operations at the detonation location off of 26th St W due to high winds and fire concerns.

Road closures on 32nd Ave W and 26th St W are now reopened.

Minot Bomb Squad, Bismarck Bomb Squad, and the Williston Police Department will continue to utilize the City of Williston Landfill for the disposal of these explosive materials. Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad will continue to detonate these materials throughout the day.

You may hear explosions as these items are safely disposed of. Safety is the highest level of importance while detonating and disposing of these items.

The Williston Police Department continues to operate under the direction of the Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad to ensure that all safety precautions are being taken during this process.

The scene is still under investigation and has not been deemed safe for residents to return to their homes.

More information will continue to be provided as it becomes available to be released.


UPDATE – Oct. 12, 1:36 p.m.

WILLISTON, ND (KXNET) — Members of the Minot and Bismarck bomb squads estimate they are dealing with over 1,000 pounds of homemade explosive materials in a Williston apartment in the 3600 block of 7th Street West.

On October 10 around 3:54 p.m., the Williston Police Department responded to the apartment building for a report of possible narcotic activity. During the investigation, suspected explosive materials were located in an occupied apartment. As a precaution, the building where the items were located has been evacuated along with a neighboring building.

Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad are still actively processing the scene to
render it safe for the Williston Police Department to continue their investigation and
evidence collection. All of the suspected explosive materials are in the process of being destroyed.

The Williston Police Department can confirm that there have been multiple different chemicals and powders located within the residence used to make these explosive materials.

No arrests have been made at this time. However, a person of interest has been identified. The identity of the individual will be released within the next 48 hours. The name is being held at this time to prevent any compromise in the investigation process.

The Williston Police Department will continue to operate under the direction of the Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad until the scene is rendered safe for residents to return.

The Williston Police Department recognizes the concerns of citizens due to the noise and location of these detonations. However, the Williston Police Department wants to ensure that they are doing everything in their power with the assistance of the Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad to destroy these materials in the safest way possible.

The investigation into the nature of the explosive materials is still ongoing. The Williston
Police Department says it will continue to keep the community informed with as much information as can be released without compromising the investigation and any potential criminal charges.


UPDATE – Oct. 12, 10:24 a.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad have resumed operations as they continue to securely transport the explosive materials for destruction in Williston.

32nd Ave W from the 11th St W intersection to the 26th St W intersection will be temporarily closed throughout the day in order to safely transport these materials. 26th St W from
Harvest Hills Ave to 44th Ave W will be closed during detonations.

Minot Bomb Squad, Bismarck Bomb Squad, and the Williston Police Department will also be utilizing the Williston City Landfill as a second location to continue to dispose of the explosive materials.

Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad will be detonating these items throughout the day. Residents may hear explosive noises as these items are safely disposed of.

The scene is still under investigation and has not been deemed safe for residents to
return to their homes. The investigation into the explosive materials is still active.

The Williston Police Department will be holding another press briefing today at 1:00 p.m.


UPDATE – Oct. 11, 7:25 p.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad shut down operations for the evening.

Operations cannot continue safely without sufficient lighting. They will resume operations on Oct. 12 in the morning.

Williston Fire Department will remain on scene for safety and assistance.

All roadways that were closed from this incident have been reopened.

The scene is still under investigation and has not been deemed safe for residents to return to their homes.

The investigation into the explosive materials is still active.

More information will continue to be provided as it becomes available to be released.


UPDATE – Oct. 11, 2:54 p.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad are continuing to assist the Williston Police Department and will continue to process the scene throughout the day.

The evacuated buildings will remain closed for public access until the scene is deemed safe for the residents to reenter.

The Williston Fire Department has been assisting the Williston Police Department to ensure the scene is safe.

Minot Bomb Squad, Bismarck Bomb Squad, and the Williston Police Department will be securely transporting the explosive materials for destruction.

32nd Ave W will be closed from the 11th St W intersection to the 26th St W intersection in order to safely transport these materials. Expect part of 26th St W to be closed at a later time.

Minot Bomb Squad and Bismarck Bomb Squad will be detonating these items in a safe location.

You may hear explosions when these items are safely disposed of. These items are being safely detonated by trained professionals.

The number of explosives found will be released at a later time.

The Williston Police Department will update the public when they reopen the roads.

No arrests have been made; however, a person of interest has been identified. No identity will be released because of the pending investigation.

Residents of the complex should reach out to the complex management who will provide vouchers for places to stay until they’re able to return to their homes.


UPDATE – Oct. 11, 11:47 a.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — Minot Bomb Squad is still assisting the Williston Police Department in the investigation, which will continue throughout the day. The building in question on the 3600 block of 7th Street West will be closed to the public until it is deemed safe for residents to reenter. Williston Fire Department has also been aiding the Police Department to ensure safety on the scene.

As reported previously, suspected explosive materials were located in an occupied apartment. As a precaution, the building and where the items were located have been evacuated along with part of a neighboring building.

The Williston Police Department will address the situation and discuss concerns the community may have during a press briefing that will be held at 1:00 p.m. on October 11 in the first-floor conference room of the Williams County Law Enforcement Center.


ORIGINAL STORY – Oct. 10, 9:33 p.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — On October 10, just before 4 p.m., the Williston Police Department responded to the 3600 block of 7th Street West for a report of possible drug activity.

According to the Williston Police Department, during the investigation, suspected explosive materials were found in an occupied apartment.

As a precaution, law enforcement evacuated the building.

The Minot Bomb Squad was contacted and responded to the scene.

A heavy law enforcement presence is still on scene investigating the incident.

No other information has been provided by the Williston Police Department.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information as it becomes available.