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Reported Loud Explosion Still a Mystery

Stow fire did not respond to reports of loud "boom" but Stow police did

Exactly what the loud noise was that residents near the Stow-Kent border heard late Sunday night remains a mystery.

Dozens of Stow Patch readers posted on Facebook late Sunday night asking about a loud boom that sounded like an explosion near the border of the two cities.

Neither the Stow nor Kent fire departments responded or received any calls, but readers reported hearing a loud "boom" at about 10 p.m. Sunday.

Stow Police Lt. Anne Stirm said the noise was heard from several different areas of Stow. 

"Most callers were in the area of Wickley/Seneca and others south of Graham (Road)," Stirm said. "Officers were dispatched to the area but nothing was seen or noticed out of the ordinary."

Kent Fire Chief Dave Manthey suggested the noise might have been as simple as a car exhaust backfire or even an electric transformer explosion.

Mark Durbin, spokesperson for FirstEnergy, said in an email the noise likely wasn't generated by a transformer explosion.

"We did not have any outage reports in this area," Durbin said.

David Poluga, operations coordinator for the Kent State Airport, said in an email that there was nothing unusual found at the airport Monday morning.

"We have no reports of an explosion or loud noise at the airport (Sunday) evening," Poluga said. "The airport staff had gone for the evening by then, and the Flight Training Program was closed for the holiday. The airport was inspected per standard operating procedures (Monday) morning. There was no evidence that would indicate an explosion on the grounds."

Kent Police also reported receiving no calls about the noise.

Readers and Stow residents started Monday to suspect the noise might have been related to a meth lab, as there have been a few meth labs discovered by police in recent months.

"Meth lab was my first thought too," Stow Patch reader Melissa Bysura said. "Really says something about the perception hovering over our great city lately."

Liz Bloemer Johnson wrote on Stow Patch's Facebook page that she heard the noise on Charring Cross Drive.

"All the neighbors got out as well, and we were all standing on our driveways commenting on it to each other," she said.

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