Police find live grenades in vacant SL home

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

After being waived down Sunday afternoon, Storm Lake police officers investigating an open door at a vacant house at 515 Oneida discovered live grenades and other items, perhaps kept as souvenirs since World War II.

A representative of the State Fire Marshall's office blew up some of the items in a safe spot north of town, while larger explosives were taken to a military ordinance unit.

The incident began when a pedestrian waived down an officer on patrol. The door at 515 Oneida was standing open, and the citizen reported that no one had lived in the house for several months. He asked the police to check the residence.

Officers entered to determine if anyone was trespassing or in need of help. The residence was empty.

Police saw in the basement what appeared to be live practice hand grenades. Officers considered them to be unstable.

The Storm Lake Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and Police secured the residence. A State Fire Marshal responded from Spencer to examine the materials. Police were advised that the items were safe as long as they weren't moved.

The two grenades, a large munitions cartridge and an un-exploded rocket propelled grenade were removed.

The Fire Marshal's Office exploded the smaller items in a controlled environment. The larger explosives were transported by the Fire Marshal's Office to the military.

Police interviewed the owner of the house and she reported that there were some items of World War II vintage that belonged to her deceased father in the basement. She did not recall having all of the items that were seized. There was no damage.

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