Seaview family unearths live hand-grenade

This World War II/Korean Conflict era hand-grenade was unearthed in the backyard of a family in Seaview last Wednesday.

SEAVIEW - A potentially explosive discovery was made in Seaview last Wednesday evening.

While doing some yard work and raking at approximately 6 p.m., members of the Sieniarecki family, who live at 3815 Pacific Way, unearthed a live, vintage hand-grenade.

According to Philip Sieniarecki, his son and grandson were raking around some large bushes in the backyard when out popped the grenade.

"My son came in the house with it and said, 'Look, I found a hand-grenade," said Sieniarecki. "I told him to put it back in the grass. I could tell it was real."

Sieniarecki said he was much more alarmed than his son, Mark Sieniarecki, and his grandson, Mark Thompson, who were handling the grenade prior to informing him of its discovery. Even the family cat, Scooter, who batted the grenade around until officers arrived, was not intimidated by the potential danger of the live grenade.

Sieniarecki called 9-1-1, which resulted in Pacific County Sheriff's Office deputies arriving on the scene minutes later. They were shown where Sieniarecki's son had put the grenade in the backyard in the grass and then cordoned off the area with yellow barricade tape.

According to Pacific County Deputy Mike Ray, after he secured the backyard where the grenade was located, he advised the Sieniarecki family that they should stay clear of the area. The family left the home and went to stay at a nearby relative's house until the grenade was removed.

At approximately 7:15 p.m. members of the U.S. Army's No. 707 Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD) out of Fort Lewis arrived.

"It still has the pin in it, so it's not that bad," said U.S. Army Sgt. Reggie Johnson.

Johnson and U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Slivinski, also with the U.S. Army No. 707 Ordinance Company, took only minutes to remove the grenade.

It was taken from the Sieniarecki's backyard, put in a secure container the size of a lunchbox and taken to the Cape Disappointment U.S. Coast Guard Station in Ilwaco and detonated. Normal procedure is to use a small amount of high-intensity "C-4" explosive for this purpose.

According to Johnson, the grenade was a World War II or Korean Conflict era relic. He said it is not a common thing to find grenades on the Peninsula. But, in areas where there has been a military presence or where a number of military personnel have retired it is more common.

"I've never run across this before," said Ray, who has been with the Pacific County Sheriff's Office for over seven years.

According to Ray, dynamite was found a number of years ago in the city that was apparently used for blowing up old tree stumps, but he doesn't ever recall finding any live grenades like the one found at the Sieniarecki home in Seaview.

Ray said the most common reason why EOD is called out to the Peninsula is to remove red phosphorous flares which are used at sea by the U.S. Navy during training maneuvers. These flares, which are generally 24-inches in length, will wash up on shore, on the average, three to four times each year.  

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