Cincy Police Close Street for Suspicious RV Following Nashville Blast

Cincy Police Close Street for Suspicious RV Following Nashville Blast Cincy Police Close Street for Suspicious RV Following Nashville Blast (Dreamstime)

By Brian Trusdell | Friday, 25 December 2020 08:07 PM

Police in Cincinnati closed a downtown street for approximately two and a half hours Friday to investigate a parked recreational vehicle before giving the ''all clear” and reopening the area.

The unusual action came hours after a recreational vehicle exploded in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Christmas morning after broadcasting alerts for anyone who could hear them to clear the area.

"We take anything like this extremely seriously. We got units here as quickly as possible and cleared all the traffic out of the area,” Cincinnati Police Sgt. Jerry Hodges told the Cincinnati Enquirer. ''I understand people on heightened alert these days," Hodges said. "Everything turned out great."

Police said they were alerted to the RV at about 4:30 p.m. by security and police at the city’s federal building. Using K-9 units, the RV was cleared about 7 p.m. There were conflicting reports — such as one by local CBS/CW affiliate WKRC, which said the RV’s engine was running. Others, such as the Enquirer, said the engine was not running but that an internal generator could be heard starting, apparently to maintain temperature.

The RV was owned by a local man but had out-of-state license plates due to a recent purchase.

"Out of an abundance of caution, based on the incident in Tennessee we are using Explosive Detection K9s to clear the scene," officials told the Enquirer. "At this time there is nothing else indicating there is anything else of a suspicious nature."

Sen. Blackburn Praises Nashville Law Enforcement for Quick Action

Sen. Blackburn Praises Nashville Law Enforcement for Quick Action marsha blackburn sits behind table Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. (Jason Andrew-Pool/Getty)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 25 December 2020 12:45 PM

Sen. Marsha Blackburn Friday praised members of the Nashville Police Department for their quick action in the wake of a massive explosion that rocked the mostly empty streets in the city early Christmas morning.

"This is a time when we are so grateful that we have members of the police, that thin blue line that continues to stand between chaos and calm, for the good work that they have done this Christmas morning when this tragedy, this unspeakable, unseemly tragedy, has occurred in downtown Nashville," the Tennessee Republican told Fox News.

Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said that police had been responding to a call about shots being fired just before 6 a.m. local time but found no signs of a shooting. However, the officers noticed a suspicious vehicle and called for a hazardous response unit. While they waited, the vehicle exploded.

Blackburn said there will be more information from the FBI, which is leading the investigation into the explosion, which officials said was apparently set off intentionally.

The senator said her office has been in touch with state, local, and federal authorities, and that the explosion is a "tragic situation."

"We are of course concerned for safety and security, and we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement who found it suspicious, again, cordoning off the area and working to protect people that live in this downtown area," said Blackburn.

The section where the explosion took place is a "very busy" part of the city, Blackburn said.

"You are down around Broadway," she said. "Of course in Nashville, we have lots of bars and venues, live music venues. You have the Country Music Hall of Fame that is within a few blocks of this area, as is the Symphony Hall, as is the arena, so it is a very busy area. Other times, there is a lot of pedestrian traffic in this area. We are just so grateful for law enforcement and people that were watching and felt this was suspicious."