FARMINGTON — A homemade explosive was detonated on a remote road Monday night, scaring a nearby resident and prompting an investigation by state and federal law enforcement officials, police said.

A woman who lives on Bailey Hill Road was on her porch when she heard male voices in the distance, followed by a loud explosion around 8:30 p.m., according to police Chief Jack Peck.

The woman got on her all-terrain vehicle and started to follow a car driving away after the explosion. She then watched as a small item, which appeared to be on fire, was thrown from the car, Peck said.

The woman drove her four-wheeler home and called police to report the incident, Peck said. He would not identify the woman.

A town police officer found what appeared to be an explosive device in the roadway, closed the street to traffic and called in the Maine State Police bomb squad, which removed the explosive, Peck said. The road was reopened later that night.

No one was hurt in the explosion that startled the resident, which happened near where Davis Road connects to Bailey Hill Road, he said.

Peck described the item found in the road as a homemade explosive device. Peck referred questions seeking further details to the state fire marshal’s office, which is handling the investigation along with state police.

Investigators are working to identify the device that detonated and have no suspects, Sgt. Ken Grimes of the fire marshal’s office said Tuesday morning.

Debris from the device that exploded was collected at the scene and is being analyzed at the Portland office of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to Grimes and a Maine Department of Public Safety statement.

The investigation is seeking to find out the design and materials used for the bomb to determine the next step, Grimes said.

Grimes said there is a wide range of things it could have been from “an actual explosive device classified as a pipe bomb” to a pyrotechnic device, in other words, fireworks.

Grimes would not describe the materials used in the device that detonated or discuss other details of the investigation. Investigators believe whoever is behind the incident was not specifically targeting any people or property.

The device that detonated was tossed into the street from a car driving down the road, he said. Grimes did not mention the discovery of the second device and could not be reached later in the day after a reporter spoke to Peck.

In general, materials used in an explosive device and the specific design are important in determining what the person intended to accomplish, Grimes said.

The woman said the car leaving the scene was a dark color, but she was unable to give other details about it or the incident, Peck said.

Grimes said anyone with information about the incident should contact the Farmington Police Department at 778-6311.

Although a new law that makes the sale and personal use of fireworks legal in Maine just took effect Sunday, Peck said that he does not believe the incident Monday night is tied to commercial fireworks.

Farmington is not among the several communities statewide that have already passed local ordinances banning fireworks despite the new law, he said.

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]


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