BLUE ASH, Ohio - Blue Ash city officials near Cincinnati are apologizing after a loud fireworks display Monday afternoon prompted frantic telephone calls and emails from worried residents.
The trouble began at about 2:55 p.m. when a company celebrated their 2012 achievements with a private fireworks display.
Although the fireworks were intended as a surprise celebration for the firm's employees, several factors – including cold air, no humidity and bare trees -- caused the fireworks to be louder than anticipated.
Some residents and businesses in the area were startled by the loud sound, and wondered whether it was gunfire or an explosion.
In an e-mail, Cheryl from Blue Ash had this to say about the loud noises: " People in my neighborhood were terrified. Thoughts of bombs and explosive materials were going through our minds. No one outside of the Cooper's Creek's event people were advised that fireworks would go off in the middle of the afternoon, on a sunny day, in JANUARY!!! This was an irresponsibly rash and foolish incident, especially in light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Not to mention our young men and women who suffer from PTSD from recent wars."
City officials issued an apology Tuesday afternoon.
"The city apologizes for any confusion and concern this may have caused to any residents, business members, and those in surrounding areas, and will reconsider similar requests in the future," the apology read.
"The fireworks were simply a means of celebration, not intended to frighten or upset anyone," it added. "Emergency personnel were aware of the event, and the required permits were received beforehand to ensure safety of those in and around the community."
The statement said Blue Ash's economic vitality depends on offering "unique opportunities to its residents and corporate citizens."
"The city's success is due, in large part, to its ventures with top-notch infrastructure, amenities, and events," the statement read. "As with any new endeavor, there are always lessons to be learned, and the city will continue to strive for excellence while maintaining a safe environment."