Neighbors evacuated after Smithfield resident finds grenade on lawn

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) – Authorities blocked off a portion of Russell Lane near Green Avenue on Sunday, after a woman doing yard work found a grenade on her front lawn just before noon.

Officials say it’s a good thing she didn’t touch the grenade and called them right away, because they say the device could cause significant injury or even death.

Residents within a 1000 foot radius of the property had to be evacuated.

The bomb squad was called in to remove the hand grenade and detonate it outside a secure facility.

“Schrapnel, damage to the human body, could be deadly if you’re close enough,” said Deputy Chief Steve Quattrini of the Smithfield Fire Department. “We’ll go back to that thousand foot radius. We’re comfortable with that, that’s coming from the Bomb squad themselves. So that’s why part of the block was evacuated.”

Smithfield Police are investigating how it could’ve gotten onto the lawn.

Neighbors say they’re surprised the incident would happen here.

“Quiet neighborhood, always people around walking, families,” said neighbor Mark Kasberg.

He adds the experience of evacuating with his wife and three children was unsettling.

“Once they said a ‘live device,’ I didn’t know how big it was, or any of the details,” Kasberg said. “So kind of scary.”

Neighbor Matthew St. Louis says the incident makes him wonder what could be hidden in the brush on his property.

“I have no clue what’s underneath there,” he said. “I should get a metal detector and make sure I don’t have anything live sitting in my backyard before I find out at the wrong time.”

The scene was cleared and residents were allowed back in their homes Sunday evening.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island