Grenade unearthed on Highland Road property

As Skip Gill finishes improvements to his property on Highland Road, he hopes he won’t find any more World War II-era ordnance sticking out of the ground.

“I’m gonna look at it real good,” he said with a smile.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Bomb Squad detonated a pineapple grenade at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on Gill’s property about three hours after a worker who was helping Gill with property renovations found it.

“I really still didn’t believe it was a live grenade until they detonated it,” Gill said.

The Bomb Squad arrived and quickly determined it was a live grenade that would need to be detonated on the property near BREC’s Highland Road Park for safety reasons, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.

The Bomb Squad built an earthen berm to protect the house and people from the blast, used a bomb robot to bring the grenade from where it was found to the area protected by the berm, then detonated it, Hicks said.

“It’s not something we see on a regular basis,” Hicks said. “I think our Bomb Squad has (seen this before). They were familiar with the device.”

Gill said the grenade apparently was in some dirt piles he received a while back from a man who had extra dirt from digging holes to build in-ground pools.

The worker helping Gill with the renovation work found the grenade at about 11:45 a.m. and alerted Gill, who was skeptical at first.

“It looked like a grenade, but I said, ‘It can’t be a grenade,’ ” Gill said.

The part of the property where the grenade was found is where Gill plans to build a squirrel feeding area for his 2-year-old grandson Gabe to enjoy.

The grenade was initially buried but recent rains loosened the dirt mound, causing some of it to flow off and exposing the previously hidden grenade, Gill said.

Gill said he’s thankful that the grenade didn’t go off when he was on his backhoe rolling back and forth to level the area where the explosive device sat hidden in the dirt.

According to the International Military Antiques website, the Mk2 grenade is known as the “pineapple grenade” because of its shape and structure.

The grooves in the side that gave the appearance of a pineapple were believed to make it easier to grip, the website says.

It was popular during World War II and the Vietnam War, the website says.