Metro

Mysterious box that prompted hazmat response contained harmless rocks

The mysterious box with radiation hazard labels on it that caused some alarm when it was found Wednesday in a Dorchester basement was opened this morning by a federal expert at a Boston Fire Department training facility.

It turned out to contain nothing but rocks.

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“It was just someone’s collection that they left in the basement of this house,” said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

He said a federal inspector with a nuclear incident response team opened the box. The rocks are “perfectly safe,” he said.

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MacDonald said fire officials would see if a local college with a geography department might want the rocks.

The box was found shortly before 2 p.m. at 64 Julian St. A hazardous materials response was initiated, but tests soon found that the radiation emitted by the box was within acceptable limits.

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