Fireworks are suspected in several explosions in northeast Ohio that killed 4 people in less than a year.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO). In the summer of 2022, three people died in an explosion at a home in Garfield Heights where investigators found illegal fireworks. In February of this year, an 18-year-old was killed in an explosion in Wycliffe; Fireworks and ammunition were later found at the scene.

Eight months, two explosions, four deaths and a bunch of other questions.

According to federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the frequency of such explosions has remained relatively stable.

“The concern we feel [is] people trying to make their own fireworks,” said Daryl McCormick, special agent in charge of the ATF Columbus field office. “They will try to make the fireworks brighter, brighter. The result is more explosive, which is more dangerous.”

Eight months, two fireworks explosions, four people died. New opinion from ATF tonight at 11.

— Jim Nelson (@JimNelsonTV) March 22, 2023

McCormick was unable to discuss specific cases or investigations, but was able to give 19 News some insight into these situations.

“With a large number [explosive material]it doesn’t take much to cause a detonation, and the consequences can be catastrophic,” he said. “The impact of an explosive device – you can’t take it back. It’s forever.

Last June, Donald Malinowski, 64, Gerald Bateman, 57, and Cassandra Bateman, 37, were killed in an explosion in the 4900 block of East 81st Street in Garfield Heights.

State investigators believe the explosives were made inside the house.

On February 26, 18-year-old Nathan Greger died in a garage bombing in Wycliffe.

Police said they found novelty or vintage military surplus, including several hollow hand grenade shells, as well as firework-related material.

“I have worked on several such cases and most often found curiosity. Building your own device,” McCormick said when asked what their investigations revealed about the motives for possession and storage of explosives. “I’ve seen people tear them apart and try to make bigger versions [them] with material from multiple shells into one larger device… I would say that curiosity, excitement is usually the driving factor.”

In 2021, the last year of public reporting, there were 87 explosions caused by pyrotechnics or fireworks in the United States, according to the ATF. The Bureau does not release specific numbers for individual states.

There were 428 fireworks explosions across the country in 2020 and 251 in 2019.

“I understand this to some extent, but there are safe ways to do it. This is something we encourage,” McCormick told 19 News. “This is not just a safety factor for a person. You can make a bad choice for yourself, but it will affect your neighbors, your family.”

The Wycliffe bombings are still being investigated.

Content Source

News Press Ohio – Latest News:
Columbus Local News || Cleveland Local News || Ohio State News || National News || Money and Economy News || Entertainment News || Tech News || Environment News

Related Articles

Back to top button