A house near downtown Nanaimo has been sealed off after police found a grenade during a search.

A house near downtown Nanaimo has been sealed off after police found a grenade during a search.

Update: Nanaimo Mounties find grenade in home during search

NANAIMO - Explosive device discovered during drug search found to be inoperable.

A house near downtown Nanaimo was behind police tape after RCMP members discovered an improvised explosive device during a search.

The device – a grenade – was found when police were carrying out a search warrant in the house at 415 Machleary St. after four people were arrested for suspected drug offences on Wednesday at about 5:30 p.m., according to Nanaimo RCMP.

Police entered the house at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, but when they found the grenade, they immediately halted their search, left the house and secured the property.

“We’re currently securing a home on Machleary Street,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “We went to do a search warrant for drugs … but then we found an explosive device, so we backed off.”

Two people in nearby residences, who were unrelated to the search, were also evacuated.

Police said that prior to finding the device, a quantity of drugs, including cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine were located.

An explosives disposal team removed the grenade from the house Thursday afternoon and determined the device was inoperable and did not pose a threat to the police or the public.

A 56-year-old man, one of four people initially arrested on suspicion of drug offenses, remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in Nanaimo provincial court later today.