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BOSTON MANHUNT: Aaron Pollen of Ashfield, hunkered down in Watertown, told to stay away from his windows

Living only a couple of blocks from the scene of the shootout between the marathon bombings suspects and police, Ashfield native Aaron Pollen remained safely inside his Watertown home Friday afternoon.

“We were advised not to leave our apartments or even stand near windows,” Pollen said. “That is kind of unnerving.”

Pollen said he got a warning call during the night from his brother-in-law, who lives even closer to the scene of the shootout.

By morning, Pollen had received emergency notifications from both the city and his workplace about the lockdown.

Most people seemed to be heeding it, he said, as it was mostly police cruisers and bomb-squad trucks passing by his home in what he described as a pretty hectic situation.

“Until they have a better idea of where the suspect is, they’ve advised everyone to stay put,” Pollen said. “It’s still a big concern that they don’t seem to know exactly where he is.”

Pollen was watching television reports and trying to keep updated, hoping the crisis would end with the capture of the second suspect and no further violence.

Even in Maynard, almost 20 miles west of the scene of the massive manhunt, Jared Alvord, a Plainfield native, said the stepped-up police presence was obvious.

During a drive to purchase tools Friday morning, Alvord said he noticed all of Maynard’s police officers on the streets, and as he approached Route 2 a number of National Guard and state police were on patrol.

For Alvord, the biggest impact was a mass email from the owner of his employer, Sunbug Solar, telling workers not to come to work at the Arlington office.

But he said he is also empathizing with his friends, like Pollen, who are close to the action.

“I have friends in Watertown and Waltham and have been listening to their stories,” Alvord said. “They’re all on lockdown stuck in the main zone.”

Alvord said as difficult as this week has been for those who live and work in Boston, standing up for and taking care of others shows that human compassion remains strong.

“It’s a pretty awful time and a pretty amazing time to see the love for each other,” he said.

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