The State Police Bomb Squad was called to a Stoneham gas station Tuesday morning after an “unknown device” was spotted nearby, but the scene was cleared after investigators determined the item was a battery pack most likely used for an electric bike or scooter, authorities said.
David Procopio, a State Police spokesperson, said officials were clearing the scene on South Street shortly before 10 a.m. after the device was determined to be a battery pack assembly “commercially manufactured most probably for some type of electric motorized vehicle.”
In images broadcast from the scene by WHDH-TV, bomb squad members were seen examining what resembled a bundle of highway flares bound together with a strap or tape. State Police also deployed a dog-like robot to retrieve an object from the sidewalk beside the gas station.
Jake Wark, a spokesperson for the state Department of Fire Services, said the bomb squad had been requested “to support local authorities in assessing any potential hazard it may pose.”
In a separate statement, Stoneham Police Chief James McIntyre commended the first responders who assessed the device.
“I want to thank the residents and business owners in the area for their patience, as we had to close streets and evacuate nearby homes to ensure that there was no threat to public safety,” McIntyre said. “Our investigation into this item is now complete, and I am pleased to report there is no danger.”
His words were echoed in the statement by Stoneham Fire Chief Matthew Grafton.
“We are grateful the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad along with other State Troopers responded quickly with their state of the art equipment, and were able to determine the item was not a threat,” Grafton said. “I’d also like to acknowledge all the Stoneham responders from Fire, Police, Dispatch, and Cataldo Ambulance who took appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our residents, as well as mutual aid from Wakefield Fire who covered the Stoneham Fire Station.”