Updated at the bottom: The sheriff's department now says it was the Monterey Park Fire Department that sent out the alert. First posted at 2:25 p.m.

See our latest: Monterey Park's Emergency Alert FAIL Violated Federal Rules, Source Says.

Authorities scared the bejeezus out of L.A. with an emergency alert that went to iPhone users in the area this afternoon. L.A. County Monterey Park fire officials took credit for the blast., even though it was credited to “Monterey Park.”

The alert after 2:15 p.m. assured us “this is only a test.” But it went viral on Twitter.

What's really interesting about the scare …

… is that it surprised some local authorities, including Monterey Park police, as much as it did the rest of us.

“I'm hoping it was a test,” a Monterey Park police sergeant told us.

“Our EOC (Emergency Operations Center) put it out and didn't tell us,” he said. “We all got the same alerts and we're all going crazy wondering, What the heck?”

He continued:

“We know there's nothing wrong. We know there's nothing going on.”

A Monterey Park Fire Department official told us they weren't sure who sent it out.

Credit: Alison Trachta/LA Weekly

Credit: Alison Trachta/LA Weekly

[We redacted information from Sgt. Richard Pena of the sheriff's department because the facts changed].

The sheriff's department is also headquartered in Monterey Park.

[Added at 2:55 p.m.]: An Android user reached out to tell us she got the alert too.

[Update at 3:21 p.m.]: The sheriff's department now says it was the Monterey Park Fire Department that sent out the alert.

In a tweet to the Weekly and other outlets Capt. Mike Parker stated, “'Cell phone alert test was from Monterey Park Fire Dept.”

Pena added:

We're trying to figure out how they got it out through our system.

A Monterey Park F.D. official told us it was part of the the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and was sent out “per instruction from FEMA.

[Added at 3:49 p.m.]: Monterey Park fire officials apologized via Twitter this afternoon:

The fire department also stated:

Disregard the EOC alert sent out earlier … No alert no emergency.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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