Police have sealed off the main road through Penistone and the bomb squad have been called out after the discovery of munitions in a dead man’s cellar.
Officers called out to investigate the death of a man in his fifties discovered the material - believed to include grenades and shells - at his home.
An 800m cordon was set up around the house in Sheffield Road, Penistone, this afternoon and residents evacuated to nearby Springvale School.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A road has been closed and a cordon is in place following the discovery of what are believed to be unexploded Second World War munitions at a property in Penistone.
“Emergency services are on scene working to make the devices safe and secure.
“A number of homes and businesses are being evacuated as a precautionary measure.
“Sheffield Road is closed, from its junction with Queen Street to its junction with Green Road.
“It is expected to remain closed for some time and motorists are advised to avoid the area and use alternative routes.”
Shocked residents told The Star the resident was an avid collector of World War II memorabilia.
One resident who declined to be named said: “Apparently he used to collect military memorabilia and his house is full from the cellar to the roof.
“According to people who know him, he has at least two live shells, ammunition and hand grenades.
“The bomb squad is here and they have evacuated all the houses. It has been absolute chaos. It’s the main road through Penistone.”
Craig Parsons told The Star he received a text from Springfield School where his son is a pupil, saying it was closing early.
He said: “I was worried when I heard about the incident.
“It’s nerve wracking to think that people have ammunition and bombs in their homes, it’s good to have a hobby, but make sure it’s a safe one.
“It makes you wonder if he didn’t realise how dangerous they were.”
A Barnsley Council spokesman said: “A number of homes and businesses have been evacuated as a precautionary measure. It is likely that most residents affected will make their own arrangements if temporary accommodation is required tonight, such as staying with family or friends. The council will assist any residents affected who are not able to make alternative arrangements.”