MIDDLEFIELD, Ohio – Dozens of people in Geauga, Ashtabula and Trumbull County called 911 on Tuesday night after a fireworks display was mistaken for a major emergency.
“There’s explosions going off, just about a half-mile west of the school on Route 87. It’s got the whole sky lit up. I don’t know what it is,” said a caller to Trumbull County 911. “There’s a fireworks show, sir,” said the operator.
That scenario played out several times throughout the evening as the 20-minute display was fired off along Bundysburg Road.
“There’s a fireworks show,” said another caller, “At this time of the year? In the middle of winter?”
“It was 20 minutes. It was a huge amount of firework power,” said Sarah Greer, who hosted the party on her property, South Farm. Her family had approval from the fire department for the display in honor of a philanthropist from Cleveland who was celebrating his 80th birthday.
The man, who doesn’t want to be identified, has paid for the fireworks display from American Fireworks in Hudson every five years over the past two decades. But this time it was different. “We didn’t anticipate the perfect weather, the perfect visibility and I think the fact that there was no wind, the sound just carried so far - so, yeah, a lot of response,” said Greer.
Sarah is now apologizing to anyone left startled. But she’s already expecting the display to be outdone for the next party in 2018. “Write it down on your calendar now,” said Greer.