hand grenade forces hotel evacuation in Marlborough
Marlborough - The discovery of an inert hand grenade
in a guest room at Homestead Studio Suites forced
the hotel's evacuation this afternoon and prompted
a bomb squad investigation that turned up nothing
else suspicious, officials said.
Marlborough police and fire departments responded
to a 911 call at 1:15 p.m.
after a maid discovered the device in a dresser drawer
at the Northborough Road hotel and brought the grenade
down to the front desk, according to Deputy Fire Chief
Ron Ayotte. While the explosive materials had been
removed from the grenade, Ayotte said officials took
the right cautionary steps of evacuating the building
and calling in the state Fire Marshal office's Hazardous
Devices unit, who conducted a sweep of the evacuated
"The way things are today, better safe than
sorry,'' he said. "A man has to know his limitations.
When it comes to hazardous devices, they (the bomb
squad) are the experts.''
The State Police and Marlborough paramedics were
also on scene until the building was cleared for re-entry
at 2:45 p.m., standing by with the hotel's staff and
guests who had been temporarily displaced.
Ayotte said the fire department pulled the building's
fire alarm when they responded to the hotel, but had
trouble evacuating guests. Many opened their room
doors, did not detect smoke and therefore stayed in
their rooms, he said, forcing firefighters to go through
the building knocking on doors.
"People tend to ignore fire alarms and they
shouldn't,'' Ayottee said, looking on as a State Police
bomb squad trooper walked out of the hotel.
"It's like the boy who cried wolf.''
Maynard Tipton, a southerner who is staying at the
hotel while here on business, sat smoking a pipe inside
his red Chevrolet Colorado truck in the parking lot,
waiting for the OK to re-enter the hotel. He was one
of the guests who did not immediately evacuate, he
"Now I know why the officer got a little straight-talking
when I didn't leave my room,'' he said in a Southern
After hearing the suspicious device was a grenade,
Tipton said, "That's bad. You never know when
it's going to be the real thing. It kind of makes
you nervous about staying at motels when there's many
A resident of Erwin, Tenn., Tipton said the scare
was concerning given its time-wise proximity to the
Virginia Tech shootings and other incidents of violence.
"That's closer to my home,'' he said of the
Virginia Tech incident. "You never know when
something like that is going to happen wherever you