A contractor working on a Bradley County home made an unexpected discovery.
Sammy Brown, a private contractor, found a live grenade in the crawl space underneath a home on Old Chattanooga Pike around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Brown has worked on the Goodwin Farm for 53 years. For the past couple of weeks, he's been working on plumbing underneath Courtney Goodwin's home to install a master bathroom. He said he had been in and out of a crawl space underneath the home about six times before he stumbled across the grenade.
"All I figure is that maybe the previous trips in prior to yesterday revealed it each time, and [I] didn't realize it until I actually got a good light on it. I actually was within 2 to 3 inches of my left foot just kicking it," Brown said. "You never know when you go underneath a house. You never know what's under there. Usually expect critters, animals, snakes whatever, but not no live grenade."
Goodwin's mom and two children were inside at the time. She said after her mom called and told her what happened, she called 911.
"She said you got a grenade, and I was just like okay. I mean what do you say? I just told mom you know get the kids [and] go; just get away as far as possible," Goodwin said. "We used to play under the house as kids and who would've thought basically."
The Bradley County Sheriff's Office called in the Cleveland Police Department Bomb Squad to assist with the investigation. Members of the bomb squad safely removed the grenade and will dispose of it properly.
No one was hurt.
It's not clear where the grenade came from or how long it's been underneath the home, but a spokesperson for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office said it was clear it had been there for a significant amount of time.
Though Goodwin and Brown are happy the home is safe, one question remains.
"I just would like to know if there's any other situations that would arise, you know precautionary measures for my kids sake obviously. What else is under there," Goodwin said?
Steven Brown, Bomb Squad Commander and Homeland Security Coordinator with the Chattanooga Police Department, explained all hand grenades should be treated as live, meaning they are explosive.
"The older they are, the more sensitive they are, especially when it comes to the rusting of the spoon and/or what model/type of hand grenade it is," said Brown. "The same goes for Civil War era cannon balls. They are located around here as well."
Here are some different types of hand grenades:
1) Drilled Hand Grenade- The body has been drilled out, but could still contain a primer or detonator.
2) Drilled Grenade 2- The base has been drilled out and you get a perspective of which end the base is.
3) Cast Training Grenade- training grenades are generally cast and solid. They are all one piece and have no removable parts. They simulate the weight of an actual hand grenade.
Brown said an inert grenade means it has already exploded or it can not detonate, i.e.replicas.
If you come across a grenade or any type of explosive, leave it where it sits and call police.