San Diego

Neighbors Evacuated After Mortar and Rocket Rounds Found in Home

Residents of a Mira Mesa neighborhood were evacuated Wednesday while bomb squad crews investigated several military-style mortar and rocket rounds found in a home.

Police were called to a home on Avenida Del Gato at around 3:30 p.m. after family members of the recently deceased homeowner found ammunition and military ordnances in the home.

The San Diego Police Department called the San Diego Fire-Rescue Bomb Squad to investigate.

SDFD Bomb Squad Captain Jeff Ring said crews found about a dozen mortar and rocket rounds and hundreds of rounds of ammunition throughout the home and in the attic and garage.

Captain Ring said SDFD Bomb Squad and MCAS Miramar Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians were examining each piece one-by-one to make sure that they were not live.

“If they are live pieces of military ordnance they pose a great hazard to the community, so it’s very common for us in the very beginning to set up a safe perimeter, perform evacuations until we can confirm that those rounds are not live and that there are no explosives inside of them," Ring said.

A total of 6 homes -- five on Avenida Del Gato and one directly behind the home where the ordnances were found -- were evacuated. Bomb Squad investigators at first said there was a good chance the residents could be kept out overnight, but Ring said at around 6 p.m. that investigators were close to determining all of the ordnance inert and that residents could be allowed back in their homes by 8 p.m.

Ring said investigators were confident that they found all of the ordnances in the home.

"When you come out your front door and see the bomb squad there and FBI trucks running around, it’s obviously something serious," neighbor Joanna Inchcomb said. "Until they’re off the street, I'm not going to be completely comfortable being at my house."

Jose Ysea with the SDFD described the home as a hoarder house. Ring did not describe it as such but said there were a lot of belongings in the home likely accumulated over many years.

Ring could not confirm if the homeowner was a veteran or had any military connection.

Ring said his team responds to calls like this several times per month.

No other information was available.

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