HALF MOON BAY -- The San Mateo County bomb squad destroyed a suspected pipe bomb Thursday in Half Moon Bay and later discovered the supposed threat was just a set of paintbrushes, authorities said.

A resident walking in the 500 block of Kelly Street noticed something that looked like a pipe bomb, and reported the discovery to authorities about 11:06 a.m., San Mateo County Sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt said. The sheriff's office and bomb squad responded to the area near Cabrillo Highway to eliminate any potential threat.

Authorities alerted nearby Cunha Intermediate School at 600 Church Street, and the building was placed on lockdown about 11:30 a.m., Rosenblatt said. The lockdown was lifted at 12:50 p.m. after bomb squad officials determined the object was not an explosive.

An X-ray revealed that the device was actually a set of paintbrushes, and it was destroyed it because of the chemical turpentine found inside, Rosenblatt said. The resident was not wrong to believe it could have been dangerous, Rosenblatt added, noting that the box looked like a realistic explosive device.

"Looking at it with the naked eye, it looked like a pipe bomb," Rosenblatt said. The bomb squad packed up and left about 1 p.m.

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.