AURORA, Colo — An active grenade is not ideally what you'd stumble upon while doing landscaping work.
But that's what happened Tuesday to a crew leveling dirt at Mile High Express, a newly constructed industrial building at 12550 E 33rd Avenue in Aurora.
Edwin Castro, a foreman working for HE & I Landscapes, said one of his crew members spotted the military weapon while raking the dirt and planting trees.
"We’re almost finished. We’re just prepping for sod," Castro said.
One of the crew members picked up the grenade up with a trigger pin still inside.
"It was like an apple size grenade. Rusty. Old," Castro said. "It still had the wire in it. We never thought about it being active. We were just looking at it up close."
Brit Schabacker, the owner of Mile High Express, said he acquired the land to build the industrial facility about 18 months ago and broke ground in October.
"We are very lucky that they have done so much digging around here, heavy equipment, with the irrigation, with the water, it's amazing that one of those pieces of equipment didn’t hit it," Schabacker said.
The crew with HE&I Landscaping said they have been working on the site for three weeks, but no one saw the grenade until Tuesday.
"It’s scary. If you think about it," Castro said.
Aurora Fire Rescue and the Adams County bomb squad were called in to investigate and the area was blocked off for several hours.
The Adams County Sheriff's Department said its team was able to detonate the grenade safely on site. The sound of an explosion could be heard for blocks.
"It shook my building," Schabacker said. "I was in there with my wife and talking about where to hang pictures when all of a sudden we just heard this loud boom."
An online search shows the site was once home to Fitzsimons Army Medical Center decades ago.
"Apparently, Fitzsimons used to do training over here, you know 50 to 60 years ago," Schabacker said. "They say it's not too uncommon that they find those. But it's just crazy."
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