Sweep of Jewish Community Center finds no threat

Jewish Community Center evacuated for bomb threat, burning truck unrelated
Published: Jul. 21, 2015 at 6:08 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2015 at 6:08 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A security sweep of the Jewish Community Center on Dutchmans Lane turned up nothing after a threatening note was found inside the building, according to Louisville Metro Police.

LMPD spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said an employee of the JCC discovered the note on a desk and police were called.

At the same time, a pickup truck in trouble caused more than a stir when it caught on fire on Dutchman's Lane shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The two timing caused many people to suspect a possible link between the two incidents, but Smiley said the vehicle fire had nothing to do with the incident at the JCC.

"We had received a call that there was a bomb threat," Louisville Metro Fire Lt. Col. Jeff Botner said. "The tire on the truck blew from the engine compartment fire, which gave everybody quite a scare."

"We made the decision, just as a precaution, to evacuate the building," JCC marketing director Ben Goldenberg said.

About 200 people, mostly day-campers and senior citizens, were on campus at the time. 

"Our first emergency communication with parents was that there was no need to pick up their kids," Goldenberg said. "Everyone was safe. We already had a plan in place in case of an emergency."

But some parents showed up anyway, while the Louisville Metro Bomb Squad and a sniffer dog checked every room.

"They have the real little ones, four and under, separated from the bigger ones," said Jacob Spielberg, who came to pick up two campers for a friend. "They had to keep his backpack," he said referring to one the boys.

"Anytime little ones are involved, you need to be extra careful," the boy's mother said.

"There was a fire leaking," the boy said.

A burning pickup truck was hauling a large tank in its bed. The tank appeared as if it might have been hauling fuel.

"It was water, it was almost empty," Lt. Col. Botner said. "These incidents are totally unrelated. We have put the truck fire out and we have investigated the situation."

A flat-bed tow truck retrieved the pick-ups charred shell.

Police and fire investigators gave the all clear about 3 p.m. They've not said exactly where the note was found, nor what it said. That investigation remains ongoing.

"We believe the emergency plan worked well," Goldenberg said. "This was just an unfortunate combination of events."

"Weird," Goldenberg said. "I've been here four and a half years. This is the first threat I've had."

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