CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Residents who had to evacuate their homes during a controlled burn of “energetic materials” were allowed to return late Thursday night.
The River Mills Senior Center at Chicopee was one of the designated places these residents were asked to go to as they waited for more information. As Chicopee police and fire worked on removing hazardous materials from a property on Summer Street, people in that neighborhood were given an hour to evacuate.
Rick Kelley lives one street over. He told 22News, “Police came by and told us that there was one street over that there may be gun powder in the house and they need to do an evacuation. They told us you have one hour to grab your stuff and then leave.”
Kelley and the other evacuees were given the option to shelter at River Mills or the Chicopee Library. Many of them had been waiting for hours, waiting to find out when they could return to their homes.
“You know we want to be home at this time and we just don’t know what’s going to go on tonight, it could be late so where are we going to sleep?” Kelly asked.
The residents of the homes evacuated were allowed back home shortly after 10 p.m. People living on more than 20 Chicopee streets surrounding Summer Street were asked to shelter in place.
For residents who didn’t have to evacuate, they were told to close all doors and windows during the controlled burn.
The state Department of Fire Services told 22News they will not being testing the material because there are no charges being brought against the homeowner. They say that homeowner died before the incident and the energetic material has no connection to their death.