An explosion late Thursday near the Tacoma landfill was the result of bomb experts disposing of two live military grenades, Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
She gave this account:
Officers responded to a Tacoma house about 5:30 p.m. in the 3800 block of North 12th Street after a neighbor found grenades in the residence and called authorities to get rid of them.
“This was a neighbor who was taking care of (the owner’s) residence when he went into hospice care,” Cool said. “The owner of the residence in question has been in hospice care for the past couple of years.”
It isn’t clear how old the grenades were, but Cool said they appeared to be relics from a war and that investigators called Joint Base Lewis-McChord to help, because the grenades were military weapons.
Bomb experts sometimes stabilize explosives and store them for later disposal, such as at JBLM.
In this case, Cool said, because explosives become increasingly volatile with age and the grenades appeared to be old, experts decided it best to detonate them at the nearby dump, at 3110 S. Mullen St.
That explosion about 11 p.m. was heard by nearby residents.
Investigators used the landfill in December to destroy a missile found on the roof of an East Tacoma home. The owner was charged with unlawful possession of an explosive and reckless endangerment.
Cool said the grenades’ owner won’t face charges.
“It was no criminal intent of any kind,” Cool said.
Anyone who needs help to get rid of explosives should call 911, Cool said, and should not try to move them independently.