Suspicious device clears out eldery care center

Posted at 12:06 AM, Sep 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-19 02:06:43-04

Dozens of seniors and staff had to be evacuated late Friday morning after an incendiary device was thrown inside the main offices of an elderly care center in Wheat Ridge. 

"This was definitely a malicious act. This was definitely a criminal act," said Wheat Ridge Police Commander Wade Hammond.

The device -- a box -- which at first was thought to be an explosive, was thrown inside the main office of the Senior's Resource Center, located at 3227 Chase Street in Wheat Ridge at around 11:30 a.m. A small explosion then followed, Hammond said.

Several agencies including Wheat Ridge Police, the Wheat Ridge Fire Department, the Jefferson County Bomb Squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to the scene to investigate the small explosion.

After the elderly care center was evacuated following the explosion, the box was examined using x-ray equipment and the agencies determined it was not in fact an explosive device, but a small firework that went off. 

Hammond told 7NEWS he was not sure if someone was targeting the senior's center with some kind of payback. Hammond also said the center has had threats in the past. 

Not one of the 30 to 50 seniors at the center were hurt in this incident, according to a Senior's Resource Center spokesperson. Those seniors were moved to other facilities.

The Wheat Ridge police and fire departments will assist in the arson investigation, Hammond said.

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