Austrian police are investigating a mysterious explosion that occurred Sunday in the town of Gmunden, near Vienna. The blast originated, oddly enough, inside an ordinary wood stove containing nothing but firewood, or so it seemed.
The 22-year-old woman to whom the fireplace belonged, who survived the blast, was just as puzzled as authorities. She had, after all, only put firewood inside.
According to the Associated Press, police spokeswoman Petra Datscher related on Monday the bizarre series of events leading to the explosion — a series that dates back to the mid-twentieth century.
Datscher said a World War 2 grenade landed on a tree during fighting. In a matter of years, the tree enveloped the grenade so it was hidden from view. When the tree was chopped down and cut into pieces for firewood, the grenade was still invisible beneath the bark. So, when that unfortunate woman bought the firewood and loaded it into her wood stove to keep warm, the grenade finally exploded.
Luckily, the sturdy wrought-iron stove kept everyone safe from injury, though the blast did burst through the burner’s glass panel.