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Update: Area cleared after Madison police find no explosives in car on Near West Side

Update: Area cleared after Madison police find no explosives in car on Near West Side

Madison squad car very tight crop

Madison police have cleared the area after blocking off part of a street on the Near West Side Monday evening to investigate a vehicle with "suspicious material" inside, Lt. Eugene Woehrle said. 

Woehrle said the 1700 block of Jefferson Street near Vilas Park was closed for several hours out of an "abundance of caution" after the suspicious vehicle was reported. The street was opened back shortly after 8 p.m. when police determined that no hazardous materials were in the car. 

Madison police responded to reports of a suicidal or homicidal person near the intersection of Grant Street and Jefferson Street just before 1:30 p.m. The individual was located at a nearby hospital and "safely detained to be evaluated," but there was concern over their vehicle that was parked on Jefferson Street, Woehrle said. 

Officers set up a perimeter around the car and told nearby residents to leave the area or shelter in place during the investigation, Woehrle said. 

Madison police needed to wait for the Dane County Hazardous Devices Unit — which investigates bombs, suspicious packages, explosives and hazardous chemicals — to respond to the scene. Formerly known as the Bomb Squad, the unit has tools to analyze the material from a distance, Woehrle said. 

"It's just a way for us to be safe," Woehrle said. 

The Dane County unit was able to confirm that the vehicle did not contain dangerous materials, Woehrle said.

The registered vehicle owner, who was different than the person sent to the hospital, removed the vehicle from the area, Woehrle said. The street was then opened back up, and residents were notified that the area was clear.  

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