Live WWII mortar shell found in Cottonwood Heights

Posted at 2:23 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 00:34:09-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — A family discovered a live, World War II-era mortar at a Cottonwood Heights home Monday afternoon, prompting officials to call in a bomb squad and experts from Hill Air Force Base.

"I heard a knock at the door and I went and saw the uniformed police through the glass of the door and I wondered 'What in the world has happened now?'" said Don Jensen, who lives in the neighborhood. "He said 'We're evacuating the neighborhood and you need to leave immediately.'"

The Jensens got their dogs and prepared to walk out the door when officers came back, saying they didn't need to leave, but to stay in the house and away from the windows.

"I was hoping we wouldn’t have any damage done because we got a lot of stuff that could be damaged. Just glad that nothing blew up," said Eileen Jensen, who speculated the mortar was someone's war souvenir.

Just before 5 p.m., a bomb squad carried the mortar away in a tin box with plans to destroy it off site.

Cottonwood Heights Police have not confirmed any details about who the mortar may have belonged to, how long it had been in the home or why it was there at all.

FOX 13 will bring you those updates as we get them.