View Full Version : Bomb squad calls in Marines after man drops off mortar round

02-09-08, 09:22 AM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Bomb squad calls in Marines after man drops off mortar round
H.B. Fire Station No. 8 and neighboring building evacuated, roads closed.
The Orange County Register

HUNTINGTON BEACH - The Marines disarmed a live mortar round containing four pounds of dynamite that was dropped off at Fire Station No. 8 at 5891 Heil Ave. near Springdale Street on Friday morning.

Its standard procedure for the Sheriff's Department to call in military technicians to handle military ordnance, said Lt. Ted Boyne of the Sheriff's Department.

The Huntington Beach Fire Department first called the Sheriff's Department this morning after a man brought in what he thought was a dummy mortar round, said Huntington Beach police Lt. Craig Bryant.

“He brought it into the fire station and said, 'Here, I don't want to play with this anymore, you take it,' '' Bryant said.

Firefighters stuffed the round into a corner of the station before clearing out.

A small suite of offices in a neighboring building was also evacuated, Bryant said.

Police do not plan to arrest the man who brought in the round, as there was no criminal intent, said police Lt. Mike Reynolds.

“Apparently, he works for a company that does estate sales, and it was left over from one of the sales, and he didn't know what to do with it,” Reynolds said.

Heil Avenue was closed between Springdale and Graham streets, along with several residential streets in the area.

The round is a live 81mm Mark I mortar round containing four pounds of TNT, and it dates to WWII, Boyne said.


02-09-08, 11:41 AM
Old mortar shell prompts evacuations
WWII ordnance is brought to a Huntington Beach fire station, where experts determine it is live. Marines later detonate it in the Irvine area.
By Dave McKibben
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 9, 2008

Two dozen homes and a medical building were evacuated for about four hours Friday after a man dropped off an unexploded mortar shell at an adjacent Huntington Beach fire station, authorities said.

About 10:30 a.m., the man dropped off the World War II-era 81-millimeter mortar round -- still in its original box -- at the fire station at the intersection of Heil Avenue and Springdale Street. A Huntington Beach Fire Department official said the man had apparently picked up the ordnance at an estate sale.

"It appears the gentleman was going to try and sell the mortar round to a gun shop," said Martha Werth, a Fire Department spokeswoman. "When they wouldn't take it, he went to the fire station."

After the bomb squad determined that the explosive was live, Camp Pendleton was called.

Shortly before 3 p.m., two Marines took the explosive to county open space in the Irvine area and detonated the shell, which officials said was the equivalent of 4 pounds of dynamite.