Officials check suspicious matter at City Hall

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 11, 2006

From Staff Reports

Local emergency responders got tested Monday on the day most famous for disaster preparedness, but it wasn’t a drill.

A bomb threat ended up being a hoax at Tipton Middle School, after the school was evacuated for about an hour when a supposed scare was called in. Teachers hurried students orderly to the exits and across the street until the school was searched and no danger was discovered. Classes resumed without incident just before noon.

Email newsletter signup

Just as that incident was cleared, Brett Howard, director of the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency, and Selma Fire Chief Henry Allen had another situation on their hands. A strange odor led to a search of the basement of Selma City Hall.

The hazardous materials team removed a five-gallon can of what was believed to be a cleaning agent that had swollen to the point of bursting. As it turned out the odor was apparently burned popcorn, according to Police Chief Jimmy Martin, which didn’t come from the swollen container. The container was removed from the building and emergency management authorities said it “never posed any real danger.”

City administrative employees stood outside for about two hours until the incident was investigated.

The events of five years ago to the day in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania led to the precaution, as one unidentified city worker said “it’s better to be safe, than sorry.”