Local News

Anthrax threat, bomb scare force Durham evacuations

Posted August 28

— Several houses in Durham were evacuated Monday afternoon as authorities responded to a threat of a bomb threat and a potential release of anthrax.

Police responded to the 3500 block of Guess Road at about noon after Jeffrey Lawrence called 911 to report that his sister-in-law's boyfriend, who lives in a garage apartment, had been making threats for several days of having anthrax and explosives in his car, authorities said.

"He did apartment maintenance, and he's used all kinds of chemicals," Lawrence said. "He's told me several times that, in the heat of the day, those chemicals, the car could explode."

Authorities shut down Guess Road between Carver and Peppertree streets for about seven hours and forced residents out of three homes as a precaution.

"They evacuated all of us two doors or three doors on both sides of the house. They told me it was a danger of explosion," Doug Goins said. "It sort of irritates me. I’ve been sitting out here a while, and they said it could be a couple more hours before they get everything taken care of. ... This is not how I planned to spend my Monday."

The Durham Police Department's Bio-Chemical Emergency Response Team and the Durham County Sheriff's Office bomb squad couldn't find any explosives or hazardous chemicals when they checked the garage and a car parked outside using a remote-controlled robot.

Three people inside the apartment were questioned, and one was detained by police. but no charges had been filed as of Monday evening.

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