Fire department calls substance found in envelope harmless

The Huntington Beach Fire Department hazardous materials team has determined that a sandy substance found in an envelope delivered to City Hall on Monday is not dangerous, according to Fire Capt. Bob Culhane.

Police and fire officials will be allowing workers back into the building after the haz-mat team and Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad have packed up and cleared out.

The envelope was delivered to the fire department on the fifth floor of City Hall around 8:30 a.m., according to Culhane.

The package also contained a firecracker-like device, but Culhane said the bomb squad is not concerned it will explode. The team is in possession of the device and will investigate it, Culhane said.

Huntington Beach police and fire departments evacuated the City Hall building at 2000 Main St. after a worker found the suspicious package, Culhane said.

Culhane said the envelope initially looked like it could have an explosive inside. He said officials placed it in a stairwell after it was discovered, and the building was evacuated. There were about 300 workers in the building.

Employees were given an early lunch and asked to return by 1:30 p.m., according to city spokeswoman Laurie Frymire. 

Huntington Beach High School, which is across the street, was on a precautionary lockdown but was given the OK by the police department to resume normal activity, Culhane said.

— Anthony Clark Carpio

Twitter: @acocarpio

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