Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Exciting Tuesday Afternoon

After making a hospital call Tuesday morning, I found the road that leads to the church and our house blocked by police tape. I went around the block, to try to get home from the other side of the street, but the same yellow ribbon stretched across the street. I drove through our back yard and saw the police were sitting in the church parking lot.

I was relieved to find out that they didn't have a warrant for the pastor of the church! Our neighbor across the road from the church was cleaning out his garage and found a gernade. The bomb squad was called in, and I was advised to stay back by our house, and not go inside the church, in case the gernade happened to explode. Below is the article from today's local paper, the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

Grenade discovered in garage

Wednesday, April 09, 2008
By Danielle Quisenberry -- 768-4929

A couple of weeks ago, Patrick Hills came across a cardboard tube in his cluttered garage and casually tossed it aside, unaware of its contents.

Tuesday morning, he realized the tube contained a decades-old hand grenade, and called police.

``Once I figured out what it was, it kind of startled me,'' said Hills, 20, of Vandercook Lake. ``I didn't want to take any chances.''

Jackson County sheriff's deputies called the Michigan State Police bomb squad to Hills' house at 404 Comstock St. and the squad determined Tuesday afternoon the grenade was live or still charged with explosives, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Troopers took the device to a gravel pit off U.S. 127 and detonated it, Undersheriff Tom Finco said.

Hills said he thinks the grenade was a souvenir saved by his grandfather, Glenn Hills of Speedwell, Tenn., who once served overseas with the U.S. Army and previously owned the house.

``My grandfather collected everything,'' Hills said as he worked behind the home Tuesday evening.

Old equipment, wood stacks and other items were scattered about the premises. The garage was stacked with clutter.

Hills bought the house about three months ago and is working to tidy and remodel it.

He had been cleaning up the garage about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when he found the explosive, which had its pin still in it, and moved it to the front yard.

``Only God knows how long it's been in there,'' said Hills, who was surprised to learn the grenade was live.

He said he's glad his two young children weren't home at the time. They were staying with his fiancee's parents while Hills worked on the house.

As a precaution, deputies closed part of Comstock Street and vacated Hills' home and the nearest house, which sits a couple hundred feet away.

The two lots surrounding Hills' house are empty. A church is across the street.

It took the bomb squad, based in Lansing, about 21/2 hours to get to the scene and about 15 minutes to realize the grenade was live, Hills said.

Such devices are ``nothing to mess with,'' Finco said.

Sheriff Dan Heyns advised people should leave a potential explosive alone. ``Do not touch or move it. Immediately call 911 and report your find,'' he said in a statement.


Vince said...

Funny timing. I work for the largest chemical company in the world - happens to be based in Midland MI. The Michigan Bomb Squad has been conducting drills in our facility all week.

Chris & Esther Hilling said...

The officer told me that the bomb squad was coming from Midland ... maybe this gave them a diversion from the drills they were conducting.