Chimney sweep discovers bombPosted on: August 29, 2012 at: 8:05 am
A German chimney sweep discovered an unexploded World War Two bomb stashed in the fireplace of a house.
Houses were evacuated and Surbiton Hill Park in Berrylands was closed when the missile-looking package was discovered on Friday, December 3.
The owner of the house felt so guilty she bought a round of drinks at a nearby pub for neighbours who had been forced out of their houses.
Chimney sweep Carsten Bergmann, 40, from Sutton, reached inside the disused chimney, which he estimated had not been cleaned for about 30 years, and found the bomb.
He said: “This is the oddest thing I have ever found.
“I was sweeping inside the chimney and felt something loose. I pulled it out and got a big surprise.
“It was about 20cm long but was big enough to blow up a tank.
“I was scared but I knew without a weapon you cannot explode them. Normally on bombs you have a firing switch that is broken if it has already gone off. It was unused so it could have been live.”
Louise Ridout, a 30-year-old marketing manager, hired 1-2-C Chimney Sweep after moving into the house with her partner a few weeks ago.
She said: “I have no idea how long it had been here.
“Most of my neighbours said it was better to know now than for our houses to blow up.”
She said the bomb had been found in a compartment of the chimney, not down the flue, suggesting it had been put there, rather than having fallen down the chimney.
The Metropolitan Police’s specialist bomb squad checked the bomb to see if it was live, after being called at 4.44pm.
Ten minutes later the Chilterns, Surbiton Hill Park and the Royston were closed, diverting traffic including the K2 bus. The road was re-opened at 5.42pm.