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Bomb scare traced to youth at church

March 17, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Bomb scare traced to youth at church

A prank by some of the youth at First Baptist Church last December resulted in a bomb scare at the church Friday morning, officials said Monday.

A package found in a little-used stairwell at the church prompted the partial evacuation of a building across the street and rerouting of traffic until bomb technicians determined the package was empty.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's office said Monday that the wrapped package was one of two used in a Christmas program at the church and then thrown onto the roof of the building next door by some of the church youth.

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High winds of recent days apparently brought the boxes down, including the one found Friday.

Threatening phone calls made to the church, 15 High St., remain unexplained.

After the package was discovered, representatives from the Hagerstown and state fire marshals offices and local firefighters and police cordoned off the area and summoned fire police, who rerouted traffic for more than two hours.

State Fire Marshal Jim Woods determined the box was empty.

Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Charles Cronauer said the state Fire Marshal's office doesn't plan to recoup the cost of the operation from the church.

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