'Bazooka' shell causes scare
MOUNT CARMEL - Tom Pivarnik came across quite a surprise Friday when cleaning out the basement at 435 E. Second St.
The Mount Carmel man, along with his grandson, Travis Yeager, were going through items at the former home of Russell Zuk, who died earlier this year, at the request of Zuk's niece. The building was also formerly a pizza restaurant and bar owned and operated by Zuk.
"I picked up a cardboard mailing tube," Pivarnik said. He looked inside and found "a 2-foot long pointy rocket with fins on the back."
After looking at it, he tossed it on a scrap pile.
"My grandson said that it looked like a projectile or missile," Pivarnik said.
It made him rethink what he should do with the object, and he decided to notify police.
On his way across town, he noticed Mount Carmel borough and township police were at a call on Oak Street. He stopped and told the officers, and they said they would come by to look at it.
Several minutes later, the officers showed up and saw that it was indeed a rocket, or shell, for a bazooka or similar shoulder-held rocket launcher. Such armor-piercing ammunition was used in World War II, and some have been known to explode if mishandled.
Police, firefighters and rescue workers cordoned off the block as a precaution. Borough police contacted a bomb squad in Reading, and they were awaiting someone to come and dispose of the ammunition Friday afternoon.
In addition to borough and township police, Mount Carmel Rescue Squad, Mount Carmel Fire Police and American Hose Fire Company personnel responded.