Police in Maine say a suspicious device that sparked the evacuation of nearby homes after being found in a house once owned by a police chief was a fake bomb.

William and Patricia Levesque said they were moving into the Millinocket home Saturday when they came across the device, which featured a timer, an alarm, wiring and what appeared to be sticks of dynamite, the Bangor (Maine) Daily News reported Tuesday. Authorities had people living in about 20 homes in the neighborhood evacuate until it was determined the device posed no threat.

"It was very authentic looking," city police officer Martin Legassey said.

Levesque said police eventually determined the device was a fake and it was turned over to the fire marshal's office.

"It's so realistic that they asked me if they could keep it to use as a training device," Levesque said.

The Levesques' house had been vacant since former Millinocket Police Chief Wayne Scarano died in 2007