Bomb scare at school, detonation not related
February 19, 2013
A strange convergence of events, a bomb threat
this morning followed by a loud explosion early this afternoon left more than a few parents
fearful that a school bomb threat that evacuated
Bonners Ferry High School was real, but the two
events were not related.
"Well good timing on their part," said one
parent after the explosion rattled her windows
and scared her animals. "Half the parents on the
North Hill headed immediately in the direction
of the schools seconds after gearing the
The colossal sound, according Boundary County
Emergency Management Incident Commander Bob
Graham, was the controlled detonation of two
vintage hand grenades found in a home on the
Moyie River Road yesterday.
"It appears they'd been there for quite some
time," Graham said. "One was a fragmentation
grenade dated 1974, the other was a tear gas
According to Graham, the owner of the home,
whose name was not released, passed away
recently, and his wife was cleaning a shed on
the property when she found the Vietnam-era
explosives and called the sheriff's office.
After informing the state of the find and
ascertaining that the grenades were as old as
they were, the grenades were secured and
arrangements made with a military bomb disposal
unit from Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington,
to come to Bonners Ferry today to dispose of
"We were just getting set up when the bomb
threat from the high school was called in,"
That call came into the sheriff's office at 9:36
a.m. today, postponing the planned demolition.
Graham said the threat this time was discovered
scratched into the point in a boy's restroom
stall, "Bomb 3:30," once again forcing the high
school to be evacuated and summoned another
all-out response by the Bonners Ferry Police
Department, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance, the
Sheriff's Office and the Bonners Ferry Fire
Department, all of whom staged as students and
staff were taken to Valley View Elementary and
placed in lockdown.
The school was searched and emergency units
began clearing the scene at 10:44 a.m.; students
were returned to the high school at 11:30 a.m.
And Graham returned to the Fairchild team
waiting for him.
While they typically don't like to give away the
location where such detonations take place, the
cat was out of the bag even before the blast
occurred; with Monday a holiday, people were
lined up within minutes of the gate being
closed, and word passed via cellphone and social
media that the bomb squad was at the landfill,
setting off a spate of worried rumors.
Still, the bomb squad, adding 7 1/2 pounds of
their own explosive to destroy the two grenades,
set the blast off just before 1 p.m., rattling
windows and spooking livestock for a good long
"Heck, I'm on the south side and I heard it,"
said one person on Facebook shortly after the
"Usualy EOD teams keep a low profile," wrote
another, "the fear of 'explosives' of the
popultion is usualy worse than the boom, lol
plus if it is advertised, half of us would show
up to watch, lol!"
"Come on, even our people know that blowing
something up that close to town right at the end
of a school bomb threat it not going to keep a
low profile!" wrote another. "But if that's the
reasoning, it sounds about right for a
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