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UPDATE: Fire chief identifies man killed in explosion at Korkan Granite in Tallmadge

Posted at 9:45 AM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 12:43:42-05

TALLMADGE, Ohio — One man was killed and two women were injured after an explosion in the parking lot of a granite supplier in Tallmadge Monday, according to the Tallmadge Police Department.

Tallmadge Deputy Fire Chief Department Ben Stasik identified the man who died as Jacob Williams, 25, of Cuyahoga Falls. He suffered injuries consistent with an explosion.

The explosion happened at Korkan Granite, located at 4561 Crystal Parkway, around 8:40 a.m.

Stasik said the explosion occurred while Williams was lighting a torch in an attempt to melt ice that limited access to a storage container. At that time, an unknown flammable ignited inside the container, resulting in the explosion.

One woman was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. She was conscious and alert, and suffered trauma and burn injuries.

A second woman was not hurt from the explosion but was treated on the scene for a medical issue, according to firefighters.

According to its website, "Korkan Granite is dedicated to providing the luxurious look and durability of stone for residential and commercial projects."

Firefighters were not sure what exactly was inside the containers, but there was some type of fuel, according to Tallmadge Police Chief Ronald Williams.

A total of 17 vehicles were damaged by the explosion.

During a 911 call, an operator asked an employee if she knew what exploded. She responded, "I have no idea."

Jacob Banker, who was working nearby at Car Parts Warehouse at the time of the explosion, said he heard a "loud booming noise."

He said he felt the whole building shake and the lights flicker inside the business he manages.

"I just saw a giant puff of smoke and then I heard someone screaming. So I ran to see if I could help. We're also helping them do what we could to find out what was going on," Banker said.

Scene of an explosion at Korkan Granite.

When he got to the scene of the explosion, it was chaotic and disturbing.

"It was a disaster. There was stuff everywhere— like one of the trucks that was hit by the blast— parts of that truck were sitting in the middle of the road and a couple of other vehicles were damaged as well," he said.

Banker helped others look for a missing person.

"Everybody was frantically looking for him. So we were just pulling stuff out of the container to try to find out where it was. And then we finally found him at one point, and when we die, he was not responsive," said Banker, who said the victim was found outside the container.

The State Fire Marshal was called to investigate.

"Our hearts go out to the family members of those injured and killed here. The Tallmadge Police and Fire departments and the city strive to be here for the citizens of Tallmadge and the businesses here. We will do what we can and strive to help those involved," said Stasik.

News 5 checked online records dating back decades and did not find any violations from OSHA against Korkan Granite.

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