News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Bomb Squad Detonates World War II-Era Grenades Found in Old Box
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A resident cleaning out their home found an old box of World War II-era grenades and mortars, at least one of which was still live.  The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad responded and conducted a controlled detonation of the devices.  No one was injured.

On Thursday, August 6, 2015, at about 3:35 p.m., officers responded to a home on the 1900 block of Webster Street after receiving a call from the resident that they had discovered a box of what appeared to be old grenades while cleaning out their house.  Upon discovering the box, the resident carried it outside and set it down carefully in the driveway.  Officers and personnel from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad responded, and found a total of eight grenades and "knee" mortars.  After using their equipment to examine the devices, Bomb Squad personnel determined that at least one of the grenades was still live.

The Bomb Squad personnel eventually buried all of the devices in the front yard of the residence, covered them with 40 sandbags, and conducted a single controlled detonation to render them safe at 7:17 p.m.  No one was injured.  It remains unknown how many of the remaining seven devices were still live at the time they were all destroyed.

Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department and the Palo Alto Utilities Department responded and assisted throughout the call.  Officers had the 1900 block of Webster Street closed to through traffic for approximately four hours.  Police live-tweeted the event from the Department Twitter account (@PaloAltoPolice), sending 20 tweets throughout the incident in real time that included 14 photos from the scene to keep neighbors updated, and also sent periodic updates via Nextdoor, Nixle, Facebook, and AlertSCC.  For a link to all of our social media channels, visit