US

Fireworks Company Receives Bomb Threats After Trump Recognizes It by Name

By Zachary Stieber

A fireworks company based in Ohio received bomb threats after President Donald Trump thanked it for providing fireworks for the upcoming July 4 celebration in Washington.

Two bomb threats were called on Phantom Fireworks, which is based in Youngstown.

“Unfortunately we had a bomb threat called in twice. Police and bomb squad and canine units came to search the entire premises. This was done shortly after President Trump’s tweet thanking Phantom Fireworks and me personally for donating this year’s fireworks for the Washington, D.C. show,” Phantom CEO Bruce Zoldan told WFMJ.

Zoldan and the Grucci family, which runs Fireworks by Grucci, partnered to provide a $750,000 donation.

Phantom Fireworks, Ohio. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

Despite the threats, no bombs were found at the site, Zoldan said.

A police report obtained by The Business Journal Daily said that officers responded to Phantom, where Vice President William Wimer told them the business received one threat at 8:30 p.m.

“There’s a bomb in the building, get out,” a male told the receptionist. The same person called in three minutes later, saying “tick tock” three times.

About 60 employees were evacuated from the building because of the threat.

Officers listened to the calls and were sent a recording of them by Weimer, who said that the company has increased security “where it’s needed or right or not.”

warning about july 4 terror attacks
People watch fireworks explode over New York City in a file photo. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

The company has eight offices, four warehouses, and dozens of retail stores.

Weimer said Trump’s Twitter post recognizing the company wasn’t necessarily what prompted the threats.

“We believe that this will be categorized as a terrorist act,” he added. “What happened last night was that we received a cowardly phone threat,” he said. “It was against a company whose entire being is dedicated to celebrating America and the freedoms we enjoy.”

Youngstown Bomb Squad officer Brad Ditullio confirmed the bomb threats with Fox News. He said the caller initially told the receptionist that everyone “needed to get out.”

Ditullio said that a bomb-sniffing dog from the Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital was sent over to help clear the scene, which took about 90 minutes.

Trump’s July 4 celebration has been criticized by a number of media outlets and public figures, but the president said the fireworks were being donated in the Twitter post that may have triggered the threats.

“Thanks to ‘Phantom Fireworks’ and ‘Fireworks by Grucci’ for their generosity in donating the biggest fireworks show Washington D.C. has ever seen,” he wrote at 3:05 p.m. on July 2.

“CEO’s Bruce Zoldan and Phil Grucci are helping to make this the greatest 4th of July celebration in our Nations history!”

He added on Wednesday that the cost of the event wasn’t that much.

“The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth,” he said. “We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats. Nice!”