Nesquehoning police closed off streets, evacuated homes and called in a bomb squad after a postal carrier discovered a suspicious device in a mailbox on Friday afternoon.

Police Chief Sean Smith said the carrier opened the box at 83 W. Catawissa St., saw the device, which was about the size of a cell phone, wrapped in white duct tape and had a black wire protruding from it. She immediately closed and locked the box, and called 911, he said.

Police received a call about the situation from the Carbon County Communications Center at 3:47 p.m., Smith said. Police immediately contacted Carbon County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Nalesnik and U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Bond.

Nalesnik called the Allentown Fire Department bomb squad; the Bethlehem Fire Department bomb squad, which was on standby, arrived quickly. The bomb squad team examined the device via x-ray of the mail box, Smith said. They then opened the box and removed the device.

"It turned out to be a non-threatening, nonhazardous device," Nalesnik said.

Police and borough firefighters evacuated homes in a 300-foot radius. The people were invited to stay in the Nesquehoning recreation center, which was opened as a shelter by the county's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) unit under the direction of Mayor Tony Walck, who is the CERT coordinator for the borough, Nalesnik said.