AZTEC — Police on Wednesday night evacuated buildings and shut down streets in Aztec after old dynamite was left in a car in front of the fire station on West Chaco Street, police said.
Shortly after 9 p.m., an Aztec Fire Department volunteer reported to police that she had dynamite in a green Ford Explorer parked in front of the fire station at 201 W. Chaco St., Aztec police Sgt. Joe Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the woman received old dynamite from a relative in Arizona, took it to the fire station and called the Farmington Police Department's bomb squad to take care of the explosives.
The bomb squad arrived at the scene shortly after 10:30 p.m.
While they investigated, police closed portions of Chaco and Ash streets.
The city's municipal complex and the fire station, both in the 200 block of West Chaco Street, were evacuated. Blake's Lotaburger, 210 W. Aztec Blvd., was also evacuated, though the business had already closed for the evening.
Residents were not evacuated.
The bomb squad discovered the dynamite was inside a rusted toolbox the crew could not open at the scene. The toolbox and its content were transported to Farmington before after 11:15 p.m. to be destroyed.
The volunteer firefighter was not charged in connection to the incident.
"She probably shouldn't have been driving around with it," Gonzales said of the dynamite.
Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said the bomb squad destroyed the dynamite.
He said that if people find possible dynamite, they should not touch it because it can explode.
"If someone comes across anything they suspect or know is dynamite, it's important that they leave it alone, get out of the way and contact law enforcement to deal with it," Tracy said. "It's unstable, and moving it can cause it to go off."
He said finding old dynamite in the region is a fairly common occurrence.
"Law enforcement is aware of these types of situations," he said. "People don't need to be afraid to contact us."