A Camden Police officer suffered minor injuries Thursday morning when a tear gas grenade exploded while he was searching a Camden home for illegal drugs.
The incident took place at 8 a.m. July 17, at a home in the first block of Kathleen Court, said Chief of Police William E. Bryson.
The grenade blew up as an officer opened a file cabinet drawer during the search-warrant authorized examination of the home, Bryson said.
Units from the Camden-Wyoming and Magnolia fire companies were called to the scene, as was a DNREC environmental scientist, who determined the device was a CN grenade.
Residue from the explosion was confined to the home, and was not considered a danger to area residents, Bryson said. The home has been condemned until all traces of the chemical can be removed to the satisfaction of officials from the town and the state Department of Health and Social Services.
The home owner, identified as Jennifer L. Reynolds, and three children were removed from the home before the search began, Bryson said. The children have been placed with a family member.
The officer declined medical treatment after exposure to the tear gas.
“He’s OK,” Bryson said. “He went back to work after being decontaminated by the fire department.”
Bryson said Camden officers searched the home based on a Delaware State Police tip about a large shipment of marijuana coming through the area.
Reynolds was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, third-degree conspiracy, third-degree assault, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a destructive weapon.
Reynolds was later released on a $10,500 unsecured bond, Bryson said.