SKOWHEGAN — The Maine State Police bomb squad has determined that two packets found Thursday in the basement of the Skowhegan Municipal Building, where the Police Department is housed, were harmless military training devices.

The items were found inside an unused police locker and nobody remembers how the devices got there, Police Chief Ted Blais said. The discovery late Thursday afternoon forced the evacuation of the entire building and closed the parking lot.

Blais said the metal objects — measuring about 6 inches by 2 inches — were found by Deputy Chief Don Bolduc, who was cleaning out an old locker so he could use it in his office.

Inside the locker was a box with “a lot of other junk in it,” such as old CDs, and it could have been there for years, he said. Fire Chief Shawn Howard called former Police Chief Butch Asselin, who retired in 2007, and Asselin didn’t remember the box or the military training tools being there.

Blais said the packets later were found by explosive technicians to be labeled “inert,” meaning harmless or chemically inactive.

“After close observation — in all appearances it was an explosive with wires coming out of it — it said ‘inert’ right on it,” Blais said. “It looked like a military explosive. It was in a locker that nobody has gone in, in years and years.”


A sergeant from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, a state police explosives dog and handler, and local firefighters and police responded about 3:45 p.m. to the report of possible explosive materials at the Water Street building.

The bomb squad “took it away — happy — that was the end of that,” Blais said. “Nobody knows what they came from.”

Blais said Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the fire marshal’s office, reminded Skowhegan officials that it is not uncommon for residents to bring in all kinds of gadgets, “crazy stuff” and suspicious items for the police to take care of.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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