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Uncapped gas line: Potential cause of Fitchburg blast

Posted on October 8, 2016 2:47 pm under Fires and Explosions

Speculation has arisen that an uncapped gas line is what led to the explosion of a Fitchburg home last August that the owner miraculously survived.

Dan Rottier, the attorney who represented the Fitchburg homeowner Brian Grittner, revealed that the installer of a new Sears electrical dryer, which had replaced the home’s gas-powered appliance, failed to replace the cap of the now unused gas line. This violated safety codes and would become the catalyst for the explosion when, during tree trimming work on Grittner’s property, he was asked to turn on the water valve and accidentally turned on the gas valve instead.

The accumulation of these two mistakes allowed the basement to fill up with gas over a few hours, which would explode at around 6:45 p.m. that day.

“At a minimum, they should have put a gas cap at the end of the line, so that if the valve control was bumped or turned, the gas would still have not escaped,” said Rottier. Fitchburg Fire Chief Joe Pulvermacher would later support this statement, despite initial confusion about the situation.

Grittner is still resting from the injuries he obtained but his home should be livable again within the next few months. There has been no statement made by the Sears installation team.

The explosion of a home can cause homelessness, severe injuries, and extreme financial burden; to offset these effects, financial compensation from a liable party may be necessary. To contact an attorney like Daniel A. Rottier with Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, call (414) 271-0900. We may be able to help you gain some financial stability in your troubling times.