Homeowners continue to examine explosion damage
By this point, nearly every homeowner in the Richmond Hill neighborhood has had a chance to get into their homes, even the ones that will eventually be torn down.
Code Enforcement tells Eyewitness News they want to have everything secured by Monday and in another week, the majority of the repair work wrapped up.
Scott Alexander has owned his first home for three months in the Richmond Hill neighborhood. As he surveys the damage from Saturday's explosion, he isn't sure he wants to call this place home anymore.
"That's where the drywall came through our garage. It blew into the living room. This is where we would have been sitting there, in the living room," Alexander said. "It's our home. We want to stay if we can. We've been told it's safe but at the same time, is that really the case?"
One of 80 homes affected by the explosion, Alexander has been told that his house is structurally safe for him, his girlfriend and their dog to live in. But, as the dust settles around the Richmond Hill neighborhood, there seems to be more damage than first thought.
"Our garage, our three-car garage is on the far end of our home. It has been shifted over and you can see daylight from the inside. They could not replace that, so we will need new walls for sure," Alexander said.
Adam Collins with Code Enforcement told Eyewitness News they've had more calls from concerned homeowners in the neighborhood, especially those farther from the explosion site. Inspectors believe, for now, those home are safe, even if there are cracks in the basement. Collins said it's likely more homes will come down.
"The orange (homes on the map) are severally structurally damaged and can't be accessed until boarded or secured. Those people have a large burden to meet to show that house will be occupied going forward," Collins said.
Five homes have already been labeled to be torn down by Code Enforcement.
If all the orange-colored homes on the damage map get torn down as well, that means 16 homes in total will be gone from the Richmond Hill neighborhood because of Saturday's explosion.