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BROOKFIELD Charges not filed in blast



Published: Tue, July 17, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Pennsylvania officials and federal agents will continue looking into the explosion.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

BROOKFIELD -- The Ohio Fire Marshal's Office will not file any charges in the July 4 explosion that injured two 19-year-olds from Pennsylvania.

Robert Sharp, an investigator with the state office, said Monday that his department has concluded the investigation.

"We are not going to charge anyone because after talking to the two involved, it was clear that there was no intent to harm anyone," Sharp said. "The two men got punished with their injuries."

Injured were Jason Nicoloff of 447 Butterfly Lane, Hermitage, and Luke Forrest of Saranac Drive, Sharpsville.

Forrest was released July 7 from Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. Nicoloff continues to recover in Allegheny General Hospital there.

"They both suffered some pretty serious injuries," Sharp said.

Officials say doctors are trying to save Forrest's leg.

What happened: The device that has been described as "larger than a consumer-class firework" exploded in the yard at 759 Albright-McKay Road.

Authorities have stopped short of calling it a bomb.

Sharp said the men told him they obtained the device in Pennsylvania. It's unclear if it was given to them or bought.

He said officials with the Pennsylvania State Fire Marshal's Office and agents with the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are continuing the investigation.

ATF is responsible for investigating bombings and large arson fires.

The explosion was heard three miles away and created a hole in the yard a foot deep and 10 inches in diameter.

Contents: Although tests are not complete, Sharp said it appears the device, contrary to rumors in some areas, did not contain metal fragments such as nails.

"There are still tests being done, but we believe the device did contain black powder," Sharp said.

Officials said the men's parents are cooperating in the investigation.




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