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Parkside Avenue resident finds WW1 artillery shell in basement

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 23:41:07-04

Judith Sobresky was pulling away tiles in her 1100 Parkside Avenue basement when she discovered a surprise. A World War One artillery shell was wedged between the tiles and the wall. 

"I saw this thing in the corner," Sobresky said, "I went and picked it up and as soon as I looked at it I realized it was an artillery shell."

Sobresky, who has been living in the house with her daughter for over two years, was in disbelief. 

"It's pretty bizarre and pretty scary and pretty nerve wracking."

Sobresky called police immediately. After their initial examination, Buffalo Police brought in the fire department, bomb squad, and eventually, bomb specialists from the U.S. Air Force. 

It took officials almost four hours to remove the shell safely and clear out the area in front of the Parkside home. The shell was then taken to a secure location to be safely detonated. 

Sobresky lives just one floor above where she found the shell, with her daughter's bedroom directly above the spot. 

"My daughter and I, who's seven, have been here for two years," Sobresky explained, "that we've been in this house with this munition, this artillery shell in our basement, it's pretty nerve wracking."

With one shell being found, Sobresky is beginning to think that there could be more. 

"It kind of makes you wonder when you find one shell, there may be a few more in there."

The house, which Sobresky estimates was built in the early 1900's, is just one of a number of older houses in the North Buffalo area, so secrets could be lurking in those as well. 

As Sobresky put it, "If you're demo-ing an old Buffalo rec-room, you never know what you're gonna find."