Church evacuated after bomb threat

| September 26, 2010

Emergency personnel evacuated approximately 30 staff members for a half hour at the First United Methodist Church on Webb Ave. and Braun St. Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was phoned into the church.

Dianne Speicher, a staff member of the church, said she answered the phone and a voice said, "There's a bomb in the building. You have 30 minutes."

"I called 911 and then pulled the fire alarm to evacuate," Speicher said.

Crossville Assistant Fire Chief Chris South and Crossville Police Patrolman Chad Withrow, along with Cumberland County EMS, responded to the scene.

After investigating the church grounds, South said there was no evidence of anything suspicious and no deliveries had been made to the church.

"We're going to wait the 30 minutes and they have the option of re-entering the building if they want. At this point it's just a waiting game," South said.

Withrow said it could have been anyone who threatened the facility.

"They give out assistance to people and it could have been somebody who was turned down that was mad," Withrow said.

South said the voice over the telephone was disguised with a voice modulator.

After 30 minutes the staff returned to the building. There were no injuries involved with the evacuation and there were no children in the church facility at the time of the threat.

"We always exercise on the side of caution," South said.

There were no other problems the rest of the day Wednesday.

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Category: Church Security

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