Bits of $10 and $20 bills fluttered through the air when authorities, suspecting they had found bombs, blew up a piece of pipe that turned out to be filled with money.

"I think there was several people there that were quite surprised," police spokesman Neal Jacobson said Friday of Thursday's incident.An arson team found two sealed metal tubes, about 18 inches long and capped on both ends, while investigating a house fire. One of the tubes contained several hundred dollars, said another police spokesman, Art Wright.

"These had the appearance and dimensions to make people think they were a bomb when in fact they weren't," Jacobson said. "Our concern was safety of people and property first."

Police summoned an Army bomb squad, which used explosives to destroy the tubes.