Bomb Squad Renders World War II-Era Explosives Found in Home Safe

Published on August 18, 2022

Palo Alto, CA This afternoon, a resident cleaning out their family’s home found an old box containing a World War II-era grenade and artillery shell, at least one of which was believed to be live.  The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad responded and safely conducted a controlled detonation of the devices.  No one was injured.

On Thursday, August 18, 2022, at about 3:10 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a resident in the 2300 block of South Court reporting they had discovered a box containing what appeared to be a World War II-era grenade and artillery shell while cleaning out a deceased relative’s belongings with an estate liquidator.  Upon discovering the box, the resident carried it outside and set it down carefully in the front yard.  Officers and personnel from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad responded.  After using their equipment to examine the devices, Bomb Squad personnel determined that at least one of the devices was possibly still live.

The Bomb Squad personnel eventually relocated the devices to an open area at Hoover Park at 2901 Cowper Street.  At about 6:51 p.m., the Bomb Squad conducted a single controlled detonation of the devices.  No one was injured.

Officers had the roadway and sidewalks of South Court between North California Avenue and Oregon Avenue closed to through traffic for approximately three hours.  Officers asked about 20 people enjoying Hoover Park to leave and closed the park for safety reasons about 15 minutes before conducting the controlled detonation.  The Bomb Squad did not request that any homes be evacuated at either location during the incident.

Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department stood by at both locations as a precaution but were not needed.  Palo Alto Utilities Department crews responded to identify nearby gas lines in the area, and Palo Alto Public Works crews supplied sandbags to assist the Bomb Squad with safely containing the controlled detonation.

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