LAWRENCE — Numerous homes in a congested Lawrence neighborhood were evacuated in yesterday’s summer heat when chemicals and a suspected pipe bomb were found in an apartment at 200 Exchange St.
The brown, three-family home, nearly reaches Lawrence Street and is just steps away from the Methuen city line.
Powder, fuses and a piece of what appeared to be a pipe bomb were found by police after the mother of the late Daniel Stadleman asked officers for help removing her son’s weapons from the home. Stadleman, 40, died in May of a heart attack, police said.
Fearing a possible bomb making operation or potentially explosive situation, police and firefighters immediately called for hazardous material experts, the state police bomb squad and agents from federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms unit.
Residents and other onlookers gathered in the midday heat at the nearby Howard Playstead during the incident.
Nearly four hours later, at 1:50 p.m., authorities declared the neighborhood safe.
“In this day and age, you can never be too cautious,” Methuen Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon said.
Police described Stadleman as a “survivalist” and possible “doomsday prepper” who had weapons, powder and fuses and a piece of steel that appeared to be part of a pipe bomb.
The steel turned out to be a nunchuk handle.
Police in both Methuen and Lawrence say they had no prior run-ins with Stadleman.
While the materials found in Stadleman’s home could have made a bomb, there were no explosives found at the house according to police.
“It is our belief that the public was not in any danger when the man was alive or even today,” Solomon said.
In addition to the powder fuses and nunchuk handle, police removed two rifles, including an AR-15, two pellet guns and ammunition.
Police also searched Uncle Bob’s storage on Pleasant Street in Methuen, where Stadleman had a storage unit. The search was brief and no explosives or suspicious items were found, according to Solomon.
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