The Summit County Bomb Squad detonated an explosive device Wednesday afternoon after evacuating an area around 1350 Kelly Ave., an Akron Fire Department spokeswoman said.

Lt. Sierjie Lash said the Akron Fire Department was contacted about 1:30 by an individual who had spotted a pipe bomb in a sewer.

The caller said he could see a fuse.

"They said they saw a wick coming out of the sewer pipe," Lash said.

An Akron Police Department spokesman said an individual cutting grass first spotted the pipe bomb on a sewer grate along the side of the road.

Lash said fire department personnel arrived at the scene about five minutes after the call.

A firetruck was sent out and the area was evacuated. The bomb squad was called in to deal with the pipe bomb.

“We evacuated the area to make sure [it] was safe,” Lash said. Among the businesses evacuated was Landmark Plastics, located "right across the street" from the device, she said.

Lash did not have an estimate of the number of people evacuated.

SWAT medics were on hand as the pipe bomb was detonated on the scene.

Lash said the area was cleared up, and individuals were allowed to return. Most fire and law enforcement personnel had departed the scene by 4 p.m.

There were no reported injuries.

Police have no suspects in the incident, but the investigation is in its early stages, the department spokesman said.

He said police are checking for surveillance video and witnesses.

Bomb threats with viable devices are rare in Akron. In 2018, there were only 11 bomb-related calls to Akron police. Of those, only one turned out to involve an actual device. In November, an Akron man was charged with building a bomb at his home.

So far this year, only five bomb-related calls have been made, with Wednesday's the only one resulting in a detonation by the bomb squad. 

"To actually find a device that requires the bomb squad to come out and detonate it is pretty rare," Police Capt. David Laughlin said.

The remnants of the pipe bomb were collected and will be sent to the state fire marshal.

 

Alan Ashworth can be reached at 330-996-3859 or emailed at aashworth@thebeaconjournal.com.