A suspicious package discovered in front of the Dixfield Town Office on Friday morning turned out to be newsletters from a printer, interim Police Chief Ron Wood said. Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin

DIXFIELD — A section of Route 2 was shut down Friday morning when a suspicious package was found in front of the Town Office.

Sgt. Chris Harriman of the Maine State Police Bomb Squad with the robot used to inspect the suspicious package discovered Friday morning in front of the Dixfield Town Office. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

The State Police Bomb Squad used a robot to open the package, which contained newsletters from a printer, interim Police Chief Ron Wood said.

“No one knew it was coming,” he said. “No one just drops off stuff without identifying what it is.”

He said the Town Office employee who discovered the package did the right thing by contacting police.

“We had a package that was sitting outside the Town Office door that was deemed suspicious because of no outside labeling,” Fire Chief Scott Dennett said.

He said Wood contacted the Fire Department at 8:21 a.m. “We then had Rumford respond as this turned into a hazardous material situation,” Dennett said. “We would need them to be involved.”

Dennett described the box as an 18- by 18-inch package with no identifying marks inside a nondescript garbage bag.

The Town Office, the Post Office, which is in the same building, and the adjacent Ludden Memorial Library were evacuated. The Police Department called for the Maine State Police Bomb Squad, which arrived shortly after 10 a.m., Dennett said.

A suspicious package discovered in front of the Dixfield Town Office on Friday morning turned out to be newsletters from a printer, according to interim Police Chief Ron Wood. Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrington

Firefighters shut down traffic on Route 2 from Canton Point Road to the Mexico end of the Pfc. Buddy Wendell McLain Memorial Bridge, with the exception of trucks going into the Irving Mill at 24 Hall Hill Road.

Dennett said that in his 32 years with the Dixfield Fire Company he has not come across a situation like this. He said the department had not practiced for this “real-life situation.”

He declared the scene secure at 11:13 a.m.

A similar package arrived at the Mexico Town Office. Town Clerk Penny Duguay said Town Manager Jack Gaudet found the package Thursday night while coming back from a meeting, opened the top of the box, saw what it was, and slipped it inside the front door at the Town Office.

When they came to work Friday, they opened up the box, she said. “We didn’t think anything of it.”

It contained complimentary copies of Paper Talks Magazine, given to the town for advertising in their publication.

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