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Bomb squad called to home on Cleopatra Avenue

3:01 p.m.: Everyone stand down. They’ve determined it’s an inert WW II-era practice mortar. Here is Matt Elam with it just after the bomb squad told him it was his to keep.

(Thanks, Kirstin Vracko, for the photo!)

2:25 p.m. The bomb squad is planning to take the military mortar away in their bomb squad vehicle any minute now.

2:05p.m. Sgt. Teresa Duffy of the Seattle Police Department confirms that it is a military mortar. It’s unclear whether it’s active, however. They are now contacting military representatives to decide how to handle it. Cleopatra Avenue between NW 70th and 73rd streets will remain blocked for now.

Matt Elam, co-owner of Eagle Eye Painting, was on a job when he noticed the bomb-shaped device leaning against his client’s house.

The client said she found it under her porch while cleaning out the crawlspace. He remarked that it was “pretty cool,” so she offered to let him take it. Thinking it was a weight for a gill net, Elam figured it would make a good piece of yard art, so he took it home and put it on his back porch several days ago.

“After I did more research and discovered it wasn’t a gill net weight, I decided to call,” Elam said. Police arrived minutes later.

“My wife’s concerned about them taking it away,” he said. “She’s grown to like it.”

Elam figured it weighs about 25 pounds. It also has a loop on it.

1:30 p.m. Seattle Police called in the bomb squad to examine an unidentified item on the porch of a house on Cleopatra Place NW, just north of NW 70th Street. The bomb squad is now on scene and preparing to X-ray the item.

Dale is as close to the scene as the police will allow, and he says the item looks just like a small version of a World War II-type bomb, complete with fins.

According to police on the scene, the home owner got the item from someone else who found it buried under a porch. The item is described as being about 6-10 inches in diameter and about 24 inches long.

Police are not evacuating neighbors, but an officer did suggest to one neighbor that it would be a good idea for his family to leave.