No hazard found in bag left at Pulse, fire officials say

Streets closed, businesses evacuated in response

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ORLANDO, Fla. - A bag left Friday morning in front of the memorial at Pulse nightclub set off a suspicious device scare 10 days before the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting.

An employee of Pulse found a piece of luggage in front of the fence that surrounds the building and reported it to the Orlando Fire Department.

The bomb squad determined through an X-ray of the bag that it was not a threat.

Roads around the nightclub on South Orange Avenue were closed as law enforcement investigated the incident. Eastbound and westbound Kaley Street was also closed, Orlando police said.

As a precaution, businesses were evacuated between West Kaley Street and East Harding Street on South Orange, according to the Orlando Fire Department.

The roads reopened by 10 a.m. after the bag was deemed safe.

The nightclub was the target of the deadliest terrorist attack in recent U.S. history on June 12, 2016, in which 49 people were killed and more than 50 others were injured.

Pulse owner Barbara Poma said in a statement that she was grateful for the rapid response of OPD and OFD.

"We are happy that this turned out to be nothing more than an abandoned suitcase," Poma said. "It is unfortunate that these kinds of events occur, but we continue to stand strong. We will not let hate win."

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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