Residents were forced to flee their homes after police approached a man suspected of making explosives in a quiet Derbyshire town.
The security scare led to the evacuation of houses on several streets and the arrest of a man on suspicion of explosive offences.
Derbyshire Constabulary said it was called to a house on Acorn Drive, Belper, just after 6pm on Friday.
During a search, officers found several “suspicious items” and arrested a man.
An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team has placed a 100 meter cordon around the property – and homes within the zone, including Acorn Way, Acorn Drive, Swinney Lane and Swinney Bank, have been evacuated.
Officials said the Strutt Center, a nearby community center, will serve as a rest stop for evacuees.
One resident, who was at the Thorn Tree Inn pub – which is on the edge of the police cordon, said: “From what I can gather, the police are knocking on the houses, advising people to leave. They did not force them but advised them to go out.
“They told them they will call when it is safe to return and that they are opening the Stream Community Center for people who live in that area to go there tonight.”
She added that at least three evacuee residents were sheltering at the pub.
Asked how the evacuees felt about the situation, she said: “They seem OK to be fair. They are probably surprised and worried that you don’t know who lives next to you.
“I think they caught him last night, chap. The people who live near him know who he is.”
A Strutt Center spokeswoman said volunteers from Derbyshire County Council opened the building as a rest center on Saturday and residents unable to access their homes can go there for shelter and refreshments.
She said a few people have already come, saying: “The county council and all their emergency planning staff and all their volunteers are here and it’s a warm space where they can have drinks and things like that and see what happens piece by piece. bit.”
Derbyshire Constabulary said there was no indication of how long the evacuation and road closures would be in place.
Officers said the cordon was deployed around properties on Acorn Way, Acorn Drive, Swinney Lane and Swinney Bank, on advice from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.
Acorn Drive remains closed at its junction with Mill Street and Swinney Lane is closed between its junction with Mill Street and just after the junction with Swinney Bank.