DUBUQUE, Iowa — A Dubuque resident found an unexploded WWII-era mortar shell in their backyard this afternoon, which prompted an immediate evacuation of the neighborhood, according to a press release from the Dubuque Fire Department.

The Dubuque Fire Department was dispatched at 3:23 p.m. to a residence on Sarah Street. The resident was digging in their backyard when they discovered the unexploded mortar shell.

As a precaution, 25 properties in the neighborhood were evacuated and Sarah Street was blocked off to all traffic. Maryville Street was also closed to all traffic from Kaufmann Avenue to Kane Street.

An explosives specialist, the Dubuque Police Department, and the State Fire Marshall were at the scene to determine if the mortar shell was dangerous or not.

The State Fire Marshall’s office ended the evacuation around 7 p.m. stating that there was no longer any danger to the public. The mortar shell will be transported to a safe location for remote detonation.