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Explosive device removed safely from Uniontown back porch

| Monday, April 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Several residences were evacuated and a nursing home was placed on lockdown on Sunday while a bomb squad removed an explosive object from a back porch in Fayette County, according to a Uniontown police officer.

A man whom police did not identify called 911 at 3:45 p.m. when he discovered the object on his back porch at 24 Pershing Court, Uniontown police Capt. David Rutter said.

Officers who responded immediately backed away from the object, and the four-unit apartment building was evacuated, Rutter said.

The device appeared to have been a “commercial grade firework” that failed to detonate, Rutter said.

“It appears as if someone tried to set it off,” Rutter said.

The apartment building is near the Pershing Court public housing complex, but it is privately owned. Rutter said police are trying to determine whether the incident with the unexploded firework is connected to an explosion last week involving a similar large firework. Rutter said the earlier incident occurred in the housing complex and caused property damage, but no one was injured.

“We're looking to see if there is any connection with any previous incidents,” Rutter said. “In Pershing Court, there was another incident where a large firework was set off.”

Residents from nine homes were evacuated after the object was discovered on Sunday, and a nursing home, Laurel Ridge Nursing Center, was put on lockdown, Rutter said. In addition, a parking lot was evacuated.

Members of the Allegheny County Bomb Squad removed the object and will likely destroy it, Rutter said.

State police, constables and firefighters were among the agencies who assisted with the evacuations, Rutter said. Police cleared the scene by 7 p.m,

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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