Durham homeowner finds WWII-era mortar round in basement

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Durham resident was surprised to find a WWII-era mortar round in his newly renovated home on Sunday that prompted multiple roads to be blocked.

Dr. Ralph Haynes told ABC11 he had been in the process of renovating his home along Knox Street for about a month when he found a 60 mm mortar round from 1942 behind a pillar in a basement crawlspace. He believes the shell had probably been there since the 50s based on the old AC unit it was near.

Haynes said the mortar round still had its' firing pin intact, so he carefully moved it to a separate garage before calling the Durham Police Department who later informed the Durham County Bomb Squad.

The removal prompted closures on East Knox Street and the surrounding area of North Roxboro Street for nearly two hours.

Haynes said the mortar round was a strange thing to find and felt bad for his neighbors who were unable to get home because the roads were blocked.

This is the second reported explosive device to be found in the Raleigh-Durham area this year, the first being in a Raleigh neighborhood in late January.
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Investigators said the grenade posed no danger to the community and had all of its explosive material already removed prior to the discovery.

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