Columbia County Courthouse evacuated after bomb threat

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DAYTON – The Columbia County Courthouse was evacuated Thursday afternoon after a bomb threat was received. It was one of eight bomb threats received at county courthouses in Washington yesterday.

According to Dian McClurg, public information officer for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the call was received at about 3:15 p.m. “Someone called one of the county offices, not 911, and said that a bomb would go off in the courthouse 25 minutes,” McClurg said.

Fire and emergency personnel responded and the courthouse was immediately evacuated. Dayton’s Main Street and Commercial Street were blocked off between First and Fourth streets, and traffic was rerouted to side streets.

Inmates in the Columbia County jail, which is in the basement of the Courthouse, were also evacuated.

McClurg said that sheriff’s deputies swept the courthouse building after the evacuation and found no evidence of a bomb. Employees were allowed to return to the building at about 3:55 and streets were reopened.

According to news reports, eight county courthouses in Washington received bomb threats Thursday afternoon. Besides Columbia County, they included Benton, Adams, Chelan, Clark, Douglas, Pacific and Thurston Counties. All were evacuated and searched, and no devices were found at any of the courthouses.

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