Last week, a house explosion rocked the Long Island community of Brentwood, killing an 18-month-old baby and injuring at least eight others. Suffolk County police are investigating the baby’s death as a homicide.
The explosion occurred as an insurance adjuster and plumber were inspecting the house to deal with flooding in the basement. The blast was so strong that it completely destroyed the home and sent rubble smashing into neighboring homes. Two nearby houses have been condemned as a result of the damage.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. The home did not have any natural gas lines attached to it. However, it did have two very large propane tanks on the property. Authorities believe the explosion may have occurred after the tanks were somehow ignited.
Ten people were living in the home at the time of the explosion, including the parents of the baby who was killed. They were both severely injured, as were two other residents, along with the insurance adjuster and the plumber. Two neighbors suffered minor injuries.
Authorities have not gone so far as to blame the owner of the house for the explosion. However, he has run afoul of housing regulations in the past. In 2011, the owner was cited for operating an illegal rooming house. Earlier this summer, he was fined $3,000 after pleading guilty to housing violations.
If it turns out that the home was improperly or unsafely maintained, the victims may have causes of action against the property owner. Every person has a right to be kept reasonably safe while visiting or staying on another person’s property.