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Homeowners speak out about new report on Little Falls explosion

A new report has been released that provides information on how an explosion in Little Falls decimated three homes in February.

Posted: Sep 17, 2018 7:12 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 1:55 PM

LITTLE FALLS, NY-- A new report has been released that provides information on how an explosion in Little Falls decimated three homes in February.

The New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services investigated the incident that left seven families homeless. Shawn Devereese and Richelle Devereese, owned the house at the epicenter of the explosion on 383 West Main St. The couple and their two sons have been living with relatives since the explosion.

Little Falls Fire Department ruled the natural gas leak was accidental a day later. The department of homeland security also ruled the explosion accidental.

According to the homeland security report, "The concurrent investigation and examination performed at the direction and under supervision of the New York State Public Service Commission, located a natural gas leak, the result of an anomaly that occurred in a pipe owned and operated by National Grid, located in the pipe trench northwest of 383 West Main Street."

The couple said accidental or not, National Grid should be held accountable.

"It clearly states in the final report that it was owned and operated by National Grid," Richelle Devereese said. "It was completely outside of our house. It was not in our basement, the disconnect was out in the street and it just takes to the less restrictive area."

The couple did not have homeowners insurance at the time of the incident, because Richelle Devereese was ill and had to have multiple surgeries. She could no longer work and the couple was looking for an insurance policy they could afford. 

Representatives with National Grid issued the following statement about the incident, "Our hearts go out to the families who lost their homes after the Little Falls gas explosion. We fully cooperated with the resulting investigation by the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control. As always, safety remains our top priority. We continue to perform regular inspections and maintenance of our gas system and adhere to state and federal safety standards."

The couple plans to file a lawsuit against National Grid for negligence.

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