Feb 5, 2015

Cody bomb squad handles grenade found in Powell home

When a grenade was first brought out of the basement of a Powell home on Tuesday evening, it didn’t cause a big to-do.

Wes Vining said he and his family were cleaning out a friend's property on South Ferris Street when his daughter, Cheryl Wilkins, simply brought the box with the device upstairs and calmly asked, "You think this could be real?"

"She may be a little excited now," Vining said with a laugh Wednesday morning, shortly after the Cody Police Department's bomb squad left the home with the definitely real grenade in its custody.

The Cody Police Bomb Squad and Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt (left) responded to a South Ferris Street home Wednesday morning after a grenade was a basement. The grenade had a live fuse, but had been emptied of explosives. Photo by Toby Bonner
The squad determined that, although the explosive material had been removed, the fuse was still live, said Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt.

"It still was a safety hazard," Eckerdt said, as the device possibly could have fragmented from the pressure still inside.

Vining had been nearly positive that the grenade was real upon seeing it Tuesday night (in part because it had been painted with both green and yellow paint), but neither he nor his family members who were helping with the clean-up panicked.

"In fact, I wasn't going to do anything, and then I got to thinking, you know, I have grandkids and stuff helping me, my wife," Vining said. "Just rather be safe than sorry, is just the issue."

A photo of the grenade, taken by Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt
He contacted Eckerdt Wednesday morning, who, after also concluding it appeared to be a real grenade, summoned Cody's bomb squad to the home. The squad safely disposed of the item.

Vining said the grenade apparently had been a war souvenir collected by the homeowner's late husband, who was a veteran.

Eckerdt said Powell police deal with grenades from time to time, particularly as World War II, Korea and Vietnam war veterans start to pass on and leave behind war relics that their family members may not know about.

Grenade components, including their safety functions, can erode over time, Eckerdt said. He recommends that, if you find a grenade and believe it may be live, err on the side of caution and "don't pick it up. Don't take it anywhere." Eckerdt also suggests that people who keep inert grenades make it obvious that they're inert, "because someday, somebody else is going to have to deal with that."

Vining said when he told the homeowner about discovering the grenade in the basement," she said, 'I didn't know there was anything in the house; I thought there might be something in the garage.'

"So we'll be watching carefully," he said with a laugh.

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