EUREKA — Police have neutralized an explosive device left in the lawn of a Humboldt County home that they say could have caused great bodily injury.

Eureka police Sgt. Steve Watson says the homeowner reported finding a duffle bag Saturday with wires and a battery sticking out. The bag was partially hidden by shrubbery in the front yard.

Watson said officers determined the bag had a working explosive and evacuated nearby residents. The Humboldt County sheriff's bomb squad went to the house to neutralize the device. The process resulted in a small explosion and fire which was quickly extinguished.

Watson said that had the device been detonated, it could have seriously injured anybody nearby.

Investigators were trying to determine the intended target, motive and suspect who placed the bag in the yard.