MANATEE, Florida — A woman cleaning a Florida mobile home recently vacated by an elderly World War II vet was dealt the shock of her life when she found a grenade and other explosives he left behind.
Darlene Miller had come to clean up the house after her 82-year-old neighbor, Don Ealand, moved out a few days earlier to move in with his son in Texas.
But when she got to the oven, she was startled to find a grenade strapped to a block of explosive material called nitrocellulose tucked into the oven. Making matters even more terrifying, one of the stove’s burners had been left on, although the pilot light was off.
“I was like oh my God! That’s dynamite,” she told WFTS-TV. I did this — and went out the door!”
She immediately called cops who quickly evacuated the 100 residents of the K & K Mobile Home Park and called in the bomb squad which safely disposed of the explosive material.
Miller said while the situation was terrifying, she understood why it had happened as she had helped take care of Ealand over the past few years. She said he suffers from dementia which was why he was moving to be with his son in Lufkin, Texas.
“He can’t remember a lot of things and lives a lot in the past,” she told WFTS. “I’m just thankful we’re all okay.“
Officers in Lufkin spoke to Ealand and his family and no charges have yet been filed.