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New Castle police charged a Reynolds Street man accused of causing a neighborhood explosion last month

New Castle police had reported Jacob Henry Gunderson, 49, of the 300 block, suffered serious injuries in the July 27 blast that shook his home and others on Reynolds and Agnew streets. Gunderson reportedly set a fire in a 55-gallon drum containing fireworks materials and it exploded, breaking windows and causing other damages in his neighborhood.

A criminal complaint filed against Gunderson details some of the damage caused by the blast that occurred around 10:15 a.m. One woman who lives on Agnew Street said her house had three broken windows and several pictures on her walls and other items fell. Another neighbor on Agnew Street said one window was broken in his home.

A third resident of Agnew Street said three windows broke from the blast. Another woman reported all of her cupboard doors were blown open and pieces of metal were embedded in her wall and in her outside fence.

A man who lives in a duplex where Gunderson resides said Gunderson had placed a lot of “stuff from fireworks in a lit burn barrel, and it broke several windows where they live and destroyed a lot of items inside.”

The New Castle Fire Department reported the substance was lit in an alley next to where Gunderson lives.

The blast reportedly blew out the windows and ripped siding and soffit at 309½ E. Reynolds St. and cracked or shattered windows in houses at 1115, 1117, 1119 and 1123 Agnew St., two of which are duplexes.

The city firefighters reported they heard the explosion before they got the call.

Gunderson at the time was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Youngstown Hospital.

He is charged with one count of causing a catastrophe and four counts of criminal mischief causing property damage.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Gunderson also is wanted in connection of charges filed against him in March of retail theft and defiant trespass.

Suspects are to be considered innocent until proven guilty or adjudicated by a court.


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