DIXFIELD — A section of Route 2 was shut down Friday morning after the discovery of a suspicious package in front of the Town Office.

Sgt. Chris Harriman of the Maine State Police Bomb Squad with the robot used to inspect the suspicious package discovered Friday morning in front of the Dixfield Town Office. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

The State Police Bomb Squad used a robot to open the package that contained newsletters for the town from a printer, according to interim Dixfield Police Chief Ron Wood.

“No one knew it was coming. No one just drops off stuff without identifying what it is,” he said.

He noted that the town office employee coming to work that discovered the package did the right thing by contacting police.

“We had a package that was sitting outside the Town Office door that was deemed suspicious because of no outside labeling,” said Dixfield Fire Chief Scott Dennett, acting as public information officer.

He said Wood contacted the fire department to respond at 8:21 a.m. “We then had Rumford respond as this turned into a hazardous material situation. We would need them to be involved.”

Dennett described it was an 18×18-inch package with no identifying marks to it and was inside a nondescript garbage bag.

A suspicious package discovered in front of the Dixfield Town Office on Friday morning turned out to be newsletters for the town from a printer, according to interim Dixfield Police Chief Ron Wood. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

The Town Office, the Post Office that’s in the same building and the adjacent Ludden Memorial Library were evacuated. The police department called in the Maine State Police Bomb Squad, which arrived shortly after 10 a.m., Dennett said.

Firefighters shut down traffic on Route 2 from the Canton Point Road to the Mexico end of the Pfc. Buddy Wendell McLain Memorial Bridge, with the exception of trucks going into the Irving Mill at 24 Hall Hill Road, located before the scene of the suspicious package.

Dennett said that in his 32 years with the Dixfield Fire Company, he has not come across a situation like this. He said they had not practiced for this “real life situation.”

He declared the scene secure at 11:13 a.m.

A similar package arrived at the Mexico Town Office. Town Clerk Penny Duguay said Town Manager Jack Gaudet found a similar package Thursday night while coming back from a meeting, opened the top of the box, saw what it was, and slipped it inside the front door at the Town Office.

When they came to work Friday, they opened up the box, she said. “We didn’t think anything of it.”

It contained complimentary copies of the Paper Talks Magazine, given to the town for advertising in their publication.

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