Ashland police officers wait for bomb technicians on Monday after two suspicious objects were found behind the Ashland Street Shopping Center. The objects turned out to be fireworks wrapped in duct tape.

— | Daily Tidings



Ashland police officers responded to a bomb scare around 2 p.m. Monday when a truck delivery driver reported seeing a possible bomb in the alley behind the Ashland Street Shopping Center.

Officer Teresa Selby said the department immediately barricaded the shopping center's alley and the intersection of Joy Avenue and Lit Way.

"We then called in the bomb technicians and spoke with each of the affected businesses to give them the option of whether they want to stay open or not," she said, adding that none of the business owners she spoke with decided to close.

Officers found two suspicious objects, both about a half inch in diameter, five-inches-long and wrapped in what appeared to be duct tape. One was in the middle of the alley; the other was around the corner near a black Ford Explorer.

Officer Mike Vanderlip said it appeared that one of the devices had already gone off.

"There's burn marks on one end and we think we've identified the spot where it blew up. But we have no idea how long ago it might have happened," he said. "We believe it's just wrapped up fireworks. But we had to call it in."

An officer with the Oregon State Police's bomb unit arrived around 4 p.m. and determined that both suspected bombs were fireworks wrapped in duct tape.

Vanderlip said, "It could have been much worse. But we have to be cautious and prudent when we get calls like this."

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