WWI Artillery Shell at Petaluma Home Prompts Bomb Squad Response

Street closed off for five hours and neighbors evacuated as weapons experts work to safely remove 100-year-old weapon from residence


A Petaluma homeowner cleaning up after a tenant who had recently moved out got a good scare Monday after finding a World War I artillery shell in the garage.

The bizarre discovery was made around 2:45pm Monday in the 700 block of Ely Boulevard and prompted a street closure for most of the afternoon. Petaluma police contacted the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad, who evaluated the weapon, determining that it was made in 1913 and was a type of artillery shell used in WWI.

Sheriff's Office personnel contacted military ordnance experts and determined that the shell posed a significant risk to both the public and law enforcement personnel.

A bomb squad from Travis U.S. Air Force Base was called in and several houses were evacuated, while Ely Road was closed to all traffic between Weaverly Drive and Caulfield Lane for five hours. 

It was not immediately clear whether the tenant who left the artillery shell would be charged.

Stacey E. February 27, 2013 at 03:05 AM


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