Preston was put on a second security alert in as many weeks - after a discarded smoke alarm sparked a bomb scare outside a takeaway.
Dominos pizza in Deepdale Road was evacuated after reports of a ‘suspicious device’ being found inside a bin close to the store on Saturday night.
Deepdale Road was closed in both directions as police and a specialist army bomb disposal team called in from Cheshire dealt with the incident from around 10pm until the early hours of the morning.
Large crowds gathered around the scene and worried residents took to social media to express their concerns.
But police have now confirmed the ‘suspicious device’ was nothing more than a discarded smoke alarm that a passer by heard beeping in a bin close to the takeaway.
A police spokesman said: “A member of the public heard beeping coming from a bin and being extra vigilant reported it to us.
“In the end it turned out someone had placed an old smoke or fire alarm in a bin and it was heard beeping. It is thought it could have been the sort of beeping you get when the batteries are low.
“A bit of disturbance was caused but it was paramount we covered all the bases and investigated the incident thoroughly.”
It is the second security alert in Preston in recent weeks after the Fishergate Centre was closed earlier in the month when an incendiary device made from firelighters and an asthma inhaler was placed in a toilet at the shopping centre.
A man has been arrested and bailed in connection with that incident.