Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off at Eagle Ridge Mall on Sunday night. Lake Wales fire crews responded to an alarm call at 451 Eagle Ridge Drive around 5:30 p.m. While en route, the call was changed to a structure fire. When fire crews arrived at the location, they saw smoke coming from a corridor located next to the mall entrance of JC Penney. The fire department located two pipe bomb type devices that ignited in the corridor of the building. They also located a backpack in the same corridor with other possible improvised explosive devices in it.
No one was injured as a result of the explosion, but the ceiling and corridor wall did sustain damage. At 5:30 p.m. the Lake Wales Police Department responded to begin a criminal investigation. The mall was evacuated. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the State Fire Marshall, and the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad all responded to assist in the investigation. READ MORE