JEFFERSON HILLS (KDKA) — Police in Jefferson Hills are trying to figure out if someone set off homemade explosive devices near the Washington County line.

Residents reported several explosion-like sounds around 9:40 p.m. Sunday night.

“It sounded like a house exploding. It was that loud; it wasn’t like fireworks,” said Bob Payne, of Jefferson Hills.

That was Sunday night in Jefferson Hills. Now, days later, people who live in the area, even police, are trying to figure out what caused the loud noises that sounded like an explosion.

“There were three of them and I figure they were like 10 minutes apart,” said Payne.

“Two smaller explosions followed by one big, big one,” Thomas Jewkes, another neighbor, added.

Jefferson Hills Police say they got several phones calls about the blasts Sunday night and went to investigate.

Witnesses say it sounded like it came from an isolated area near Gill Hall Road and Peter’s Creek.

Police say homemade explosives are one possibility they are exploring, and they found a piece of a plastic bottle that may have a charred edge. The bottle has been sent to a lab for further testing.

“I thought maybe a plane went down at the county airport cause the county airport’s up here. No,” said Jewkes. “That explosion was big.”

Other witnesses reported seeing pickup trucks in the area, but nothing specific.

The Department of Environmental Protection told police there were no permits issued for blasting in the area last weekend. So, for right now, it’s just not clear what caused the blasts that has the community on edge.

“Still no answers, nothing,” said Jewkes. “Sort of like when the plane disappeared on the river 50 years ago, nobody knows, nobody’s saying.”

Police are asking residents who heard the explosions, or know anything else about the case, to contact the Jefferson Hills Police Department.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland