Essex Police Fire and Law Enforcement Partners Secure Aging Mortar Shell Found in Home

Wednesday September 21, 2022

ESSEX — Essex Police and Fire Departments, working in collaboration with law enforcement partners, safely responded to the discovery of a potentially explosive mortar shell in a home Monday.

On Monday, Sept. 19, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Essex Police and Fire were notified that a cleaning crew discovered what appeared to be an explosive shell inside a home at the southern end of Wood Drive, near Chebacco Lake. 

Essex Police and Fire requested assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, evacuated approximately six homes in the area around the home, and kept boaters and swimmers away from a portion of Chebacco Lake out of an abundance of caution. 

Troopers with the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad determined the shell is an inert training round. The round was seized and will be handed over to a U.S. Navy explosive ordnance unit for disposal. A search of the remaining rooms, garage, and shed revealed no additional suspicious or hazardous items. 

Police and firefighters cleared the scene about 1:30 p.m. No one is currently living in the home, which was being cleaned as part of the sales process. The investigation into the incident is complete and no charges are pending. No one was injured and there is no danger or threat to the public.

“I want to thank our partners at the Massachusetts State Police and the FBI for their assistance with this matter,” said Chief Paul Francis. “Old, unexploded items like this mortar shell can be very dangerous, but that is why we have established policies and procedures for responding to these incidents safely and in collaboration with the appropriate outside agencies.”

The Essex Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that they should call 911 if they discover any hazardous, dangerous or potentially explosive items and that they should not move, touch or attempt to transport such items. The cleaning crew in this instance did everything right, leaving the dangerous item alone and contacting properly trained authorities to render the situation safe.

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