A Dover building caught fire and at least partially collapsed on Monday afternoon.
Video courtesy of: Joe Mason, former Rockaway Fire Chief Twp Dept

Some 3,000 people were evacuated from Hilton Parsippany on Saturday afternoon due to a bomb threat and a gas leak, according to a police report.

The hotel at that time was full of fans who mingled with celebrities during the annual Chiller theater festival.

The police responded to the hotel at 2:29 p.m. after receiving a call reporting a gas leak and ordered an evacuation of the loading dock and the ballroom where the festival was taking place.

During the evacuation, the police were informed by a reception worker at the hotel that an unknown suspect had just called in a bomb threat.

That report prompted the police to evacuate the entire hotel complex, which includes a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and a Hampton Inn hotel.

A search on the scene, which included K-9 units from the Morris County Sheriff's Office and the New Jersey State Police, did not locate suspicious devices.

The New Jersey natural gas staff located, repaired and reviewed a gas leak.

Vendors and guests were allowed to return to the building at 6 p.m.

Due to the large crowd, mutual help was requested from several agencies. The answers came from the police in Hanover, Morristown, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Denville and Morris County Park; the fire departments of Parsippany, Mount Tabor, Rainbow Lakes and Lake Parsippany and the Parsippany Emergency Management Office.

The Chiller Theater Festival attracts thousands of fans to come together and take pictures with an eclectic variety of celebrities. This year's guest list includes television stars Barbara Eden, Richard Thomas and the "Good Times" and "The Love Boat" meetings; the actress Carmen Electra, the rapper Ice-T and the musicians Richie and CJ Ramone.

The festival concludes on Sunday.

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Staff Writer William Westhoven: 973-917-9242; [email protected]

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