A member of the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad was called to a continuing care retirement community in the state on Monday afternoon when the family of a resident found a hand grenade as they were moving his possessions from one unit to another.
Relatives of the 95-year-old resident, who is a former member of the military, moved the grenade to a wooded area several yards away from a building at Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living community, and then called police, according to the Hingham Police Department.
The grenade subsequently was determined not to be live, police said. A representative of Linden Ponds told McKnight’s Senior Living that it was a replica.
The resident had the grenade with “possible live munitions,” police said, adding that authorities checked the unit for other potentially dangerous items and took the grenade and other items for disposal.
“Due to the items already having been moved away from the building, officers did not need to evacuate any residents,” police said.
“Throughout this situation the community, in accordance with its emergency response plan, took all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and welfare of those on campus,” the Linden Ponds spokeswoman told McKnight’s Senior Living. “The timely and appropriate response in this matter reflects this commitment and ability to work in close partnership with community partners to provide credible and timely incident responses.”
The incident represents at least the second time in the past 12 months that a grenade was found at a senior living community. In February 2018, staff members at Tappan Zee Manor in Nyack, NY, found two hand grenades in the refrigerator of an assisted living unit occupied by a 91-year-old resident, also a military veteran. The training hand grenade and metal hand grenade were found to be inert.
Senior living staff members, residents and family members should not handle any suspected explosive items, the Hingham Police Department advised. “They should leave them in place, leave the area and call 9-1-1,” the department said.