Bomb Squad Called in to Detonate Explosive Device
Last Saturday evening, Dorothy Simcik was cleaning out the old storage/work shed behind a home she and her husband, Frank, had inherited in preparation for selling it when she ran across a couple of interesting items. Covered in rust and dust, Dorothy found two rounds of large artillery, perhaps used in anti-aircraft or anti-tank combat, and one hand grenade! The person from whom they had inherited the home had served in the US Navy during WWII, so it was assumed the paraphernalia could have come from that era. She put the items up on a shelf and continued to clean.
On Monday, the couple stopped by the Lexington Police Department to tell Chief Randy Davenport about their finding. Chief Davenport knew that it was possible that the items could be “live”, which meant, for the safety of the Simciks and their neighbors, he needed to call the nearest Bomb Squad for help, which is in Austin.
Sometime before noon on Monday the first representative from the Austin Police Bomb Squad met Chief Davenport at the home, which is located on Main Street at 5th . He investigated the items and took an x-ray of them inside the old shed. The two rounds of ammunition appeared to have been void of gunpowder, but the grenade appeared to have something running down the middle of it, which may have been a fuse.
Two other members of the Bomb Squad arrived at about 1 p.m. and they decided to detonate the grenade. They placed it in a bucket wrapped in a type of retardant and took it to the City Yard located on FM 1624 just outside of the Lexington City Limits. They dug a hole approximately 15 inches deep and 15 inches wide near the far north east corner of the City Yard, put a detonation device in the hole with the grenade and ran a detonation line from the hole to a safe distance away from the apparatus, which was approximately 100 yards.
A charge was sent down the detonation line and in a fraction of a second, (the charge travels down the line 65,000 feet per second) the device was ignited, exploding the grenade. That was the sound neighbors heard at about 1:30 Monday afternoon.