Employees and customers were evacuated from Fuller’s Market in West Gardiner on Thursday morning after a bomb threat was phoned in to the store.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the market on the Hallowell-Litchfield Road at about 8:16 a.m., and the building was searched by Maine State Police bomb dogs.

No devices were found.

“We had about six employees in the store, and customers coming in and out,” Walter Longfellow, owner of Fuller’s Market, said. “An employee told me what happened, so we called 911 and evacuated the store even though there seemed to be a pretty small chance it was a real threat.”

Longfellow said the morning was bitterly cold, and he and his employees took shelter from the weather in their cars for about two hours while the store, its outbuildings and property around it were searched.

During that time, he said, customers were turned away, and that’s disappointing.

“I’m very thankful everyone is fine,” Longfellow said. “It was obviously a false alarm. It’s frustrating to have someone tie up professional services and have a local business put its employees on standby.”

He said nothing like this has happened at the market before.

The incident is still under investigation and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the threat to call 623-3614.

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