Local News

"Barabooms" startle and confuse neighbors

Residents see light in sky, followed by boom


The typically quiet town of Baraboo got a loud surprise Wednesday night.  Police and neighbors are still trying to figure out what exactly caused the mystery sound.

Around 7 p.m. Wednesday, a number of neighbors called in with reports of a flash in the sky accompanied by a loud boom. 

Reports came from houses around Baraboo High School down to Fifth Avenue.

"Yet another reported incident of the ‘Barabooms' as individuals have come to know it,"  said Lt. Rob Sinden with Baraboo Police.

Sinden says all of the evidence points to fireworks.  He says it is likely that one person or a group of people got their hands on commercial-level fireworks, which are much more powerful than what the normal consumer can purchase.

Sinden suspects anyone involved is simply putting on a show for attention.  He adds all of the reports convey virtually the same eyewitness account.

"We are consistently getting reports of the flash, not just the boom,"  Sinden said.

On top of that, Sinden said some accounts included smoke in the sky drifting in the direction of the wind, something he says is also indicative of fireworks.

Neighbors who heard the noise doubt any level of fireworks could make such a racket, not to mention shaking the city.

Mike Feierben was sitting in his living room when he heard the "Baraboom" Wednesday night.  His entire house shook, and he and his pets didn't know what to think for those few seconds. 

Feierben thought at one point someone had dropped a bomb on the town, and then considered a mining accident or an explosion at the Badger Ammo Plant to be to blame.  He concluded neither scenario fit.

If something exploded, I'm going to hear sirens.  No sirens, no nothing. 

Duane Bleyer also heard and felt the boom.  He was at a dog park with his pup, Jasmine, and even felt a vibration through the air when the noise occurred.

When they do the cannons, that boom, that's exactly what it was.

Police did not come across power outages or anything to indicate a transformer exploded.  Sinden adds that there are significant concerns over safety in this circumstance. 

He says the person or people involved with setting off fireworks most likely don't have a permit or proper training to be doing so. 

With a drier season behind them, Sinden says there is also an increased potential for fire.

If you have any information, call the Baraboo Police Department at 608-355-2720.

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