Holyoke scene 091520

Photo provided by Holyoke Fire

HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It was a hectic scene in Holyoke Tuesday morning as local and federal law enforcement descended on a Pleasant Street home.

Holyoke fire officials said they were responding to reports of explosive devices.

According to online records, the home at 91 Pleasant is owned by a retired Holyoke Police Sgt. Gary Bennett. At the scene this morning, he told me he did not have a comment.

Another man was arrested at the scene and was later charged with possession of an explosive device.

For most of the morning, Pleasant Street in Holyoke was anything but.

It was packed with police, fire, and ambulance crews between Amherst Street and Princeton Street, investigating reports of explosive devices at 91 Pleasant.

Before noon, six homes around the area were evacuated as representatives with the FBI and ATF scoured the scene.

Tuesday night, Holyoke Fire updated the incident. Evacuees are able to return home and the investigation is wrapping up. 

As hours passed, a witness tells us what they saw as streets were shut down.

“I just took a detour, I saw a gentleman walking, seemed to be bookbag and a winter hat maybe, walking this way and assumed he was coming to look at what the activity was…By the time I went down the detour and down the street here and came back, they’d already placed the man in handcuffs,” said Jamie Lane.

Holyoke officials told Western Mass News one person was arrested at the scene and charged with possessing an incendiary device.

“You see something like this close to home with, you know, your friends and family around here…it’s always scary to see something of this magnitude,” Lane added.

Gary Bennett was awarded a quarter million dollars in a whistleblower suit against the city of Holyoke years ago.

We have reached out to Holyoke Police for more information on the man who was arrested.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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