Grenade detonated in Los Altos backyard

These were among the types of grenades used by the U.S. in World War I. Photo from

By the Daily Post staff

A grenade from World War I was detonated in a Los Altos backyard by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad today (Oct. 11).

The grenade was found in a bedroom on the 1700 block of Christina Drive by someone cleaning the home of their elderly relative.

The bomb squad determined it was a vintage grenade that was potentially live. The fire department was called, four neighbors were evacuated and other people living nearby were asked to shelter-in-place while the loud explosion rang out.

A spokesman for the Los Altos Police Department didn’t know how the person came to have the grenade, or if the owner was a veteran. World War I was fought between 1914 and 1918.

Old and potentially explosive war relics are found here and there on the mid-Peninsula, although they’re usually from World War II. U.S. involvement in that war was from 1941 to 1945.

In 2016, a rocket-powered grenade from World War II was found in an abandoned building in Mountain View, and several businesses were evacuated before the grenade was taken to the police department to be destroyed.

In 2015, a woman whose late husband collected war memorabilia was cleaning her basement in Palo Alto, and she found a box with eight World War II-era grenades and mortars inside. Only one was potentially live, and the bomb squad detonated it in her yard.

And in 2013, a Belmont woman found a hand grenade and mortar shells at her father’s home. She brought them to the police station and left them in her car, and the surrounding area was closed for an hour before bomb squad technicians said the explosives were most likely not active.