A mum and her daughter had a lucky escape after a live grenade they brought back from the beach exploded in their dining room.
Jodie Crews, 38, and her daughter Isabella, eight, had thought the item was a fossil or a bone, and shared pictures of it on social media in a bid to identify it. One woman then suggested it could be ‘whale vomit’, and advised her to poke it with a hot pin and see if it let out a ‘puff of white smoke’.
But instead, the casing around the grenade began to melt and it quickly turned into a ‘fireball’ in their home. Jodie managed to run with the grenade to the kitchen and dump it in the sink, where it melted part of her plastic windowsill.
She said: ‘It just turned into a fireball. My daughter screamed and ran out the back door. I grabbed the grenade and ran with it at arm’s length into the kitchen where I hurled it into the sink. We just went into survival mode.
‘I then rushed upstairs to soak a towel to throw over it to put it out. The adrenalin must have kicked in and taken over.
‘My first thought was to save my daughter, house, cats and dogs. With my daughter safely in the garden I ran back upstairs to get the cats – we have four three-week-old kittens – and rounded up our two dogs.’
Their neighbours called emergency services and a firefighter identified the object as a grenade, likely from the Second World War. He said it was normally covered in a protective coating of wax.
Jodie, who works for Kent County Council looking after adults with learning difficulties, has now been told not to drink out of her tap, as her water may be contaminated by the grenade.
She added: ‘Isabella had been asking for a metal detector for Christmas. I think she might end up with a Nintendo Switch instead after this incident. It will be safer.’
The pair had picked up the grenade from Sandown beach, while walking their dogs. Jodie said: ‘We often collect pieces of glass and driftwood as we like making things. We are very arty and crafty.
‘It had strange ridges and looked more like a piece of bone. It wasn’t very heavy and weighed the same as a bag of sugar. I thought it might be an old knee joint. It didn’t feel metallic at all.’
She added: ‘We were unbelievably lucky. It could have been a hundred times worse.
‘All my friends have made me promise not to pick anything up from the beach again.’
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