Holyoke homes evacuated as police, FBI investigate reported explosives

  • Local, state and federal police surrounded a house at 91 Pleasant St. in Holyoke on Tuesday to investigate what they said were “reported incendiary devices.” STAFF PHOTO/DUSTY CHRISTENSEN

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2020 4:42:52 PM

HOLYOKE — Local, state and federal police surrounded a house at 91 Pleasant St. on Tuesday to investigate what they said were “reported incendiary devices.”

Agents from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the state’s bomb squad mingled with Holyoke firefighters and other local officials, huddling in the house’s driveway.

Law enforcement closed Pleasant Street between Amherst and Princeton streets and evacuated six surrounding homes as they searched the house, Capt. Kevin Cavagnac of the Holyoke Fire Department said.

“One man was taken into custody on charges of possession of an incendiary device,” Cavagnac said in an email just before 4 p.m. “The investigation is ongoing and we have not received any more specific information.”

The area was still cordoned off as of 4 p.m., and Cavagnac said that the closure may continue "for some time.” He said the State Police Bomb Squad and the fire marshal's office were continuing to investigate the home.

“I will update when the evacuees will be allowed to return to their homes,” Cavagnac said. “The public is asked to avoid the area.”

Gary and Elizabeth Bennett are co-owners of the property at 91 Pleasant St., according to city property records.

Onlookers in the Highland Park neighborhood mingled as firetrucks and police cruisers blocked the road. 

“I’m not surprised,” said Matt Martin, 18, a nearby resident. “Something new like this happens every day out here.”

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.


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