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Live explosive device found in vacant Jarrettsville home disposed of safely

A military grenade that had been fashioned into an improvised explosive device was found in a vacant, foreclosed home in Jarrettsville on Wednesday and later disposed of safely, the Office of the State Fire Marshal said.

A bomb technician team responded to the home in the 1800 block of Baldwin Mill Road at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, when a contractor who was cleaning out the home found the grenade, according to a statement from the Fire Marshal's Office.

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Technicians determined the MK2 fragmentation grenade, which was designed by the military for training, had been tampered with and possibly made into a live, improvised explosive device, according to the statement.

The grenade/IED, which did turn out to be live, was taken to an area tree farm and disposed of safely at about 1:30 p.m., according to Senior Deputy Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire.

The home's last owner, Robert K. Morton, died in 2007, Alkire said. Mr. Morton had served in the U.S. Marine Corps, he said.

The grenade was found on top of a work bench in a workshop area in the basement, said Alkire, who also said he did not know why the late homeowner would have tampered with the grenade.

"We really have no leads because he has no family we can contact," Alkire said. "We don't know it was done in a malicious way."

"This is extremely unusual to actually find inside a home, especially [one] that was an inert grenade that he had played around with," Alkire said, noting old, unexploded military ordnance is occasionally found around Harford County, but typically closer to Aberdeen Proving Ground.

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