The sign out front of the Akron home offered an ominous premonition.
“Future home Kaboom house.”
On Thursday morning, the vacant home on the city’s north side did go “kaboom.”
The explosion and ensuing blaze sent Akron firefighters scrambling to put out the flames.
No one was injured, but neighbors on Uhler Avenue were left rattled by the explosion around 10:30 a.m.
No one was more surprised than the man next door who put up the sign — Natural Hunka Kaboom.
Kaboom, a gadfly at Akron City Council meetings, said he put up the sign as sort of a joke as he was toying with the idea of buying the home to put in a group home.
“It was just a joke I put there for the bank people,” Kaboom said.
He said a bank owned the vacant property and that inspectors had visited last week.
“They were supposed to come back and board the place up, but they didn’t come back,” he said.
Kaboom made national headlines last year when his signature aluminum walking stick bearing his last name was left behind in Akron City Hall. Workers discovered it and feared it was a bomb — prompting the evacuation of the building.
Arson investigators are now looking into the explosion and subsequent fire.
Fire Capt. Rod Stewart said the front of the home was ablaze by the time the first crews arrived.
He said witnesses described hearing “a kaboom” before they saw flames and noted it was strange to get that kind of call in the middle of the day.
Kaboom, who called himself the neighborhood block watch captain, said he was concerned for the welfare of neighbor Doris Muster, 86.
“I looked out my window and saw a lot of fire coming out of there,” Kaboom said.
He said Muster, who lives close to the burned property, didn’t respond to his knocking, so he kicked in her door to get her out of the house.
“I saved her life,” he said.
Muster said she was just coming down the stairs when “somebody was pulling me out of the house.”
“I knew it was you,” she told Kaboom.
After making sure Muster was unhurt, police officers on the scene went back in the house to get her dog.
“Officers went in and got her pet out as a precaution,” Akron Police Lt. Cindy Christman said.
Muster, who cradled her dog, Chloe, as she watched firefighters from the front porch of a nearby home, said she didn’t hear the explosion because one of her hearing aids is broken.
“They were banging on my door, and I couldn’t hear them,” she said.
Neighbor Connie Brill said strangers frequently come through the neighborhood.
“There are always people running around here,” Brill said.
Stewart said the structure was deemed a total loss.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.