By Audra Streetman

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Fort Collins say a suspicious substance found inside a backpack on Thursday was determined to be an explosive material. Employees at a storage facility on Boardwalk Drive found the backpack while clearing out abandoned items inside a unit that was no longer being rented.

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Authorities evacuated the scene for more than two hours. The chemical powder inside the backpack was commercially-packaged. The substance was later identified as pre-mixed ANFO, or ammonium nitrate/fuel oil. Investigators say the industrial explosive is often used in mining operations.

(credit: CBS)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigations assisted with the investigation. Authorities stayed at the scene for nearly nine hours. Detectives said they did not find any intentional threat associated with the backpack.

“I want to commend the staff members who called to report this. Thanks to their actions, this hazardous material was safely assessed and removed,” said Assistant Chief Tim Doran, who leads the Fort Collins Criminal Investigations Unit. “I’m also extremely grateful for our local and federal partners.”

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Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact Detective Bryan Vogel at 970-416-2392. Callers can also remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or

Audra Streetman