Non-dairy creamer shuts down downtown Charleston street

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A suspicious package that shut down another downtown Charleston street on Monday turned out to be non-dairy creamer.

"The first thing we did was the police went inside checked it for explosives," said Ryan Kunitzer, with the Charleston City Fire Marshal Division. "They got suited up as well, checked out for explosives, they were negative on explosives."

The package was found Monday afternoon on Church Street, officials said. There were six people quarantined inside the Dock Street Theater with the package.

According to emergency officials, crews with Charleston County EMS, Charleston Fire Department and Charleston police spent several hours assessing the situation.

"It was just a normal mailed envelope," Kunitzer said. "We had people inside that opened it and there was a powder inside and that's what makes it suspicious."

According to the police report, the envelope was addressed to the Dock Street Theatre but was taken to the Charleston Stage Company's office where it was opened. A smaller envelope was inside with a butterfly taped to the back. The second envelope had a bank statement and an unintelligible note inside, along with the white powder.

The roadway was opened shortly after 4 p.m.

On July 9, a bag of baking soda shut down traffic on East Bay Street for several hours. According to a police report, a letter marked "return to sender" was received in the mail, addressed to someone in Helsinki, Finland. The return address was 40 East Bay Street.

Police say the person who opened the envelope found several cards advertising tourist attractions in Charleston and a folded stack of copier paper with the plastic bag of white powder inside.

Charleston police said Monday that there was no way to speculate whether the non-dairy creamer incident was connected to the baking soda incident on East Bay Street. The six employees at Dock Street Theater have been told not to talk about the incident.