Bomb Squad detonates device behind Street Department
By Alexandrea Dahlstrom
The widow of a World War II veteran found what authorities thought could be a live bomb in her shed Sunday.
Officials detonated the device behind the Delavan Street Department, 420 Richmond Road, after a neighbor reported it to police.
Joanne Goff, 76, said she was cleaning out a shed at her Phoenix Street home at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday when she found the 2 ½-foot-long shell. Her husband, Jerry Goff, died in February.
“I knew it was a military device. My husband was in the Army during World War II,” said Goff. “He collected and saved everything. I needed to start getting rid of things.”
Police said Goff took the shell across the street to her neighbor, Jeffery Demet, a 26-year military veteran who is familiar with these devices.
Demet put the shell in a hole in his back yard and covered it from direct sunlight with a tarp, and then called police.
Demet told Sgt. Todd Wiese, of the Delavan Police Department, that the shell could be a live round. Wiese called the Kenosha Bomb Squad and told Det. Jeffrey Bliss, a Bomb Squad technician, that Delavan police had what they believed to be a military shell from WWII with primer and fuse still in tact. The weapon was estimated to be 30 inches long and 2 ½ inches in diameter. Bliss advised Wiese not to allow anyone to disturb the shell further until the Bomb Squad arrived.
Bliss arrived at about 1:30 p.m. with Sgts. Steven Beranis and Justin Miller, also Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad technicians. The Bomb Squad decided to counter-charge the artillery shell in a secure location. Beranis wrapped the shell in a secure blanket for transportation. It was taken to the Street Department and buried behind the building near a tree line and a creek. The Delavan Fire Department and Delavan Rescue Squad were on hand in the event of a fire.
The Bomb Squad detonated the shell using explosive devices around 2:30 p.m. After examining the remnants of the shell, police determined it was not a live round.
“I could have gotten around $500 for it, but I’d rather get rid of it than to have someone blow up.” Goff said.