MACEDONIA: A backyard explosion this afternoon — sparked by what authorities termed homemade fireworks — forced the evacuation of a Macedonia neighborhood.
No one was injured in the 1:15 p.m. blast that rattled nerves and windows along Harper Lane.
Police and fire crews descended on a home on Harper Lane where the force of the explosion shattered windows and damaged the rear of the residence.
Authorities took the home's occupant, Jason Peltz, into custody.
Macedonia Police Detective Richard Rizzo said the 35-year- old is being held on possession of dangerous ordnance.
''We'll talk to the prosecutor and more charges could be filed,'' Rizzo said.
Rizzo said Peltz was inside the house when the explosion occurred in the backyard.
''The house is a disaster, but he's fine and he's been very cooperative,'' Rizzo said.
Rizzo said all of the windows in the back of the house were blown out and the kitchen was a mess. The force of the explosion knocked over a refrigerator.
Other nearby homes also were damaged, authorities said,
Macedonia police along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Summit County bomb squad searched the home and removed explosive materials. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was also called to the scene.
During the search and cleanup, nearly 50 homes had to be evacuated. A temporary shelter was set up at the community recreation center for displaced residents.
Bob Ovacek, who lives nearby, planned to mow his lawn and do some yard work Tuesday, but those plans ended with a bang.
''I never heard anything that loud in my life, sharp and quick and very loud,'' Ovacek said. ''This has been a very quiet neighborhood.''
A large dump truck was brought to the home to safely remove explosive materials.
Chief Summit Sheriff's Deputy Garry Moneypenny said about 15 pounds of highly volatile flash powder were found inside the home.
The powder, made up of potassium, aluminum nitrate and sulfur, was to be taken to the former Boston Mills golf course off Hines Hill Road to be detonated.
The gray powder is similar to what is found inside fireworks, such as small firecrackers.
Neighbors returned to their homes about 8:30 p.m., after authorities were confident that residue on the home's walls would not cause another explosion.
''This could have been really ugly and it's fortunate that no one was hurt,'' Moneypenny said.
Bill Lilley can be reached at 330-996-3811 or email@example.com.