Multiple bomb threats were called in to an Ohio-based fireworks company Tuesday night -- just hours after President Trump thanked the CEO for donating the explosives to light up Washington D.C.’s Fourth of July celebration.
The Youngstown Police Department received a 911 call from the Phantom Fireworks headquarters on Belmont Ave. after the office received two calls threatening that “there was a bomb in the building.”
Officer Brad Ditullio with the Youngstown Bomb Squad told Fox News on Wednesday the first threat was called in at 8:30 p.m. by a man claiming there was a bomb in the building and everyone “needed to get out.”
He hung up, but three minutes later another call came in, with the voice saying “Tik-tok, tik-tok” before hanging up again.
Police were dispatched to the building and the bomb squad appeared a short time after.
Ditullio said that he called the Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital to use their bomb-sniffing dog to secure the property.
It took authorities around an hour and a half to clear the building, eventually finding that there was no explosive in the building.
Several hours before the threatening calls were made, Trump tweeted out a thank you to the company’s CEO for donating fireworks to the Independence Day festivities in Washington this week.
“Thanks to 'Phantom Fireworks' and 'Fireworks by Grucci' for their generosity in donating the biggest fireworks show Washington D.C. has ever seen. CEO's Bruce Zoldan and Phil Grucci are helping to make this the greatest 4th of July celebration in our Nations history!” Trump wrote.
The president has boasted about a major celebration honoring the U.S. military this week, calling it the “Salute to America.”
Phantom Fireworks CEO Bruce Zoldan issued a statement to WFMJ seeming to confirm that the threats likely came as a result of the president’s praise.
“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,” the statement read.
Phantom Vice President William Weimer told Fox News, however, that while the threats might have been due to the president’s tweet, there could have been a number of other reasons, too.
Weimer called it the “total work of a coward” and said the calls delayed operations during an extremely busy season.
He said the company has bolstered security in each of its locations across the country, adding he thinks such an incident “would be categorized as a terroristic threat.”
Phantom Fireworks has around 79 store locations in 15 states, with four warehouses, about eight regional sales offices and approximately 1,300 temporary locations to service the July Fourth holiday.