Hamilton crews search for answers to large hole in side of house

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Police, fire officials unsure where canister came from

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Larry Gassert, deputy fire chief of the Hamilton Fire Department, called it the “craziest thing” he had seen in his 30-year career.

A compressed air cylinder shot over two-story homes on North Seventh Street around 3 p.m. Sunday, bounced off the pavement and landed in a second-floor bedroom of a home in the 100 block of Seventh Street. The canister ricocheted around the bedroom before it was retrieved by Hamilton firefighters, Gassert said. He said the cylinder was about three feet long, meaning a “substantial piece” was missing.

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A compressed air cylinder shot over homes, hit the pavement and ricocheted into an upper story bedroom of a Seventh Street house on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19, 2017, in Hamilton. RICK McCRABB / STAFF

A compressed air cylinder shot over homes,  hit the pavement and ricocheted into an upper story bedroom of a Seventh Street house on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19, 2017, in Hamilton. RICK McCRABB / STAFF

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A compressed air cylinder shot over homes, hit the pavement and ricocheted into an upper story bedroom of a Seventh Street house on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19, 2017, in Hamilton. RICK McCRABB / STAFF

A 60-year-old woman in the house told Hamilton police officers and firefighters that minutes before the canister flew into the bedroom, she stepped into another room. Gassert said the woman could have suffered “severe life-threatening injuries.” She told relatives she was “too upset” to talk to local media.

Gassert said as the investigation continues, officials are trying to figure out the origin and contents of the canister. The red canister was empty when they found it, Gassert said.

There were two large impressions where the canister skid on the pavement before it shot into the side of the home. The house had a large hole on the side with jagged edges of siding on the second floor.

The house didn’t sustain any structural damage, Gassert said. He said the residents will be allowed to stay in the home.

Several Hamilton police officers and a Butler County Sheriff’s deputy canvassed the neighborhood, seeking evidence. They also talked to neighbors and witnesses who said they saw the canister fly over the houses. They said the cylinder came from a western direction, Gassert said.

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