June 26, 2013

Some residents allowed to return following Yarmouth explosion

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

YARMOUTH — Yarmouth authorities allowed some residents of Gables Drive to return to their homes Wednesday, a day after an explosion destroyed one condo unit and damaged several others in the complex.

Fire Chief Michael Robitaille said structural engineers had determined that the six units farthest from the blast were safe to reoccupy.

click image to enlarge

The scene of the destruction after the explosion at the North Gables condo complex in Yarmouth on Tuesday.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Resident Amory Houghton, right, gathers clothes and other belongings from his badly damaged unit on Gables Drive near the explosion site in Yarmouth. An unidentified Yarmouth police officer assists Houghton.

Photo by David Hench / Staff Photographer

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The other eight remained off limits, although some residents were allowed to collect some personal necessities.

Amory Houghton said he was able to retrieve some clothing and computer device because he and his wife won't be able to get into their house, which was next to the unit that exploded, for some time.

Houghton said the damage inside his unit was extensive, including china that had been in his family since the 1800s and pieces that he and his wife had bought on a trip to Italy.

"It's a tough sight but you sit back and say 'Hey, we're alive,' " he said.

Sgt. Joel Davis of the state Fire Marshal's Office said that the investigation into the cause of the blast continues.

He said investigators would know more once the state medical examiner completes an autopsy on the body of Peter Corey, the 66-year-old killed in the explosion.

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