Explosion outside Union home; ‘energetic material’ found inside

A Union man remained jailed Wednesday after small amounts of “energetic material” were found Tuesday afternoon following a small explosion outside his home.

Union police, along with firefighters from Union, Clayton and Englewood responded around 3:35 p.m. to the 100 block of Warner Drive. The homeowner, Connell Theodore Gubser, suffered a minor injury in the explosion, according to a release from Union Police and Fire Chief Mike Blackwell.

Gubser, 68, was arrested on preliminary charges of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance; illegal assembly or possession of chemicals or substances for manufacture of prohibited weapons; and inducing panic. He has not been formally charged and is being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail, police and jail records show.

The case against Gubser will be presented to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office to review and consider charges, Blackwell said.

Authorities began their investigation when a neighbor called 911.

“There was an explosion next door,” said a neighbor in the call. “Smoke is rolling out of their house.”

The neighbor said he did not know what happened, but that he heard a “very muffled low boom” and that he “was able to see a bright flash.”

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

“A search of the residence found what appeared to be a moderate amount of energetic material,” Blackwell stated.

Blackwell did not specify the type of energetic material, which can include explosives, fireworks, propellants and fuels.

An FBI spokesman Wednesday said that the federal agency is assisting local police.

“The FBI is assisting local police. No additional details to release at this time,” FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said.

Initial reports from Union police indicated the FBI was in charge of the investigation. The Dayton Bomb Squad also was called to the home.

Dayton Daily News reporters who went to the home Wednesday saw that it did not have any noticeable damage. Nearby residents declined comment except to say they heard the apparent explosion and saw first repsonders arrive at the scene.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Union police and the Montgomery County Regional SWAT team previously were called Jan. 29, 2019, to the same house and had contact with Gubser, who Blackwell said was intoxicated and threatening to harm himself.

Gubser was charged with inducing panic, having weapons while intoxicated and disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty April 15, 2019, to inducing panic and was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to continue mental health and alcohol treatment. The judge suspended 180 days in jail. The other two charges were dismissed, Vandalia Municipal Court records show.

Staff Writers Laura A. Bischoff and India Duke contributed to this report.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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