Burlington Fire Marshal Mark Crooks says residents of a local neighborhood escaped potential disaster from a military artifact. Crooks says the family of a deceased Burlington woman was preparing for a real estate sale when they found an old mortar shell Wednesday evening.

“All I can say is, is that they’re lucky, why it didn’t explode on them, I have no idea,” Crooks says. He says the state fire marshal said it was a live round and he did not know either why it did not explode. The discovery caused the evacuation of the Burlington neighborhood for several hours.

The state fire marshal’s bomb squad took the round to the nearby Big Hollow recreation area. He says they disposed of the shell properly by exploding the shell at the recreation area.

Crooks says the good news is that only trouble the shell ended up causing was possibly scaring someone in the area from the noise when it was set off by the bomb squad.

By Michael Cation, KBUR, Burlington