ASHBY -- The state police bomb squad and the Navy's explosive-ordinance disposal team were called to a home on Main Street in Ashby on Monday after someone found what are believed to be World War II-era smoke grenades.

Acting Police Chief Fred Alden said police were called to the home when someone cleaning out the home of a deceased relative found boxes full of the grenades. Because the person didn't know what to do with them, or whether they were active, he called police.

Once police determined they were smoke grenades, they immediately called in the bomb squad, who called in the Navy, Alden said.

"It was neat for them to come out, but it turned out to be nothing," Alden said.

He said the grenades were deemed not to be a threat and were transported from the scene.

Alden said the grenades were not detonated in Ashby, and he does not know where they were taken.

"After both units deemed it was safe to move them, they took it away," he said. "Once we saw them, there's a military ordinance that requires we call in the necessary backup. It was a fair amount of grenades, probably a couple of boxes worth."

State police were on the scene just after noon Monday, and the scene was officially cleared by 6 p.m., Alden said. An ambulance was on standby if needed but was later dispatched to other calls.

Selectman Steve Ingerson said he saw the cars outside the home, located across the street from the fire station, but didn't know what had happened.


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He said he hadn't gotten a call about the incident, but said if there was a danger to public safety, he would have been notified.

"Nobody called me," he said. "If the police deemed it was a public threat, I would assume there would be some kind of a phone call made."

-- Katina Caraganis