Old mil­i­tary ex­plo­sives found in yard of Cal­i­for­nia home

Porterville Recorder - - NEWS -

LOS AN­GE­LES — About 100 peo­ple were forced from their Los An­ge­les-area homes Thurs­day night af­ter sher­iff’s deputies dis­cov­ered a cache of World War Ii-era ex­plo­sives in the back­yard of an aban­doned home that had been over­taken by tran­sients.

The sher­iff’s de­part­ment had first re­ceived a call Thurs­day night about a sus­pi­cious car that was parked in front of the home in Lawn­dale. While they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing that call, the deputies sur­veyed the va­cant home and dis­cov­ered 15 to 30 grenades, shells and other ord­nance in the back­yard, of­fi­cials said. At least some of the ex­plo­sives ap­peared to be ac­tive, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

The home had been owned by a World War II vet­eran who passed away a few months ago, Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff Jim Mcdon­nell said Fri­day. Af­ter he died, tran­sients moved into the va­cant house.

Af­ter the deputies dis­cov­ered the ex­plo­sives, they evac­u­ated the homes on sev­eral sur­round­ing blocks for more than 14 hours as the bomb squad worked to an­a­lyze the items. Most of the de­vices were duds, but con­cerns about a case of am­mu­ni­tion and other items kept them from lift­ing the evac­u­a­tion.

“It’s a tremen­dous dan­ger,” Mcdon­nell said. “You have one shell, and it can cause tremen­dous dam­age.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors were still pour­ing over the rusty ar­tillery shells, mor­tar rounds, bul­lets and grenades and work­ing to fig­ure out ex­actly where they came from, how long they have been at the home and who was re­spon­si­ble for them, Mcdon­nell said.

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