Roanoke, VA - Virginia State Police say a hand grenade found in Roanoke over the weekend is not an uncommon occurrence. This after a grenade was found in a Roanoke attic on Saturday.
Until State Police experts destroy the grenade, which is scheduled for Tuesday, they won't know for sure if this was live... but from all their experience it does appear to be the case.
On Saturday a Richmond man, who was preparing to sell a home that had been in his family since it was built in 1913, found what appeared to have been a live hand grenade in a box in that house's attic.
"I believe it's a very, very old hand grenade and I'm afraid to touch it," said Ed Glass in his call to Roanoke's non-emergency number.
That call forced police to close off part of the neighborhood and try to evacuate the neighbors.
Matt Graybill couldn't go anywhere as his brand new baby girl had just been brought home the day before.
"We weren't real mobile so... didn't know if we could go anywhere or not but he said we would be safe if we just stayed away from windows and doors," said Graybill.
In the end State Police removed the explosive... which is much like ones that they use for training.
In the Salem District alone, the bomb squad is called out up to a half a dozen times a year for the exact same call.
"People go to clean out the home of a loved one, who has passed away and they are veterans... and they bring home old military ordinance as souvenirs," said First Sergeant Tom Foster with the Virginia State Police.
State Police say not only is this not that uncommon but the number of incidents reported will likely stay steady or even go up.
"The World War II era veterans and of course the Korean War and the Vietnam War... All those generations as they grow older... the potential for us to come along these unexploded military ordinance increases," said Foster.
State Police want to know about these potential hazards so they can avoid tragedy like we have seen before in this area.
In 2010, a storage shed fire in Henry County set off an illegal mortar round that was being stored there... and in the explosion, 25-year old Mike Venable, of Axton, was killed.