GROTON — An investigation into a home explosion on Willowdale Road turned up nothing suspicious, the Board of Selectmen learned.
At their Dec. 17 meeting, board members were given an update by fire Chief Joseph Bosselait and police Chief Donald Palma on a house explosion that rocked the town on Dec. 11.
Praising the town’s emergency personnel, Selectmen Chairman Fran Dillon described their response to the emergency as “exceptional,” adding that the two chiefs working together did a “great job.”
“It was a very difficult day,” acknowledged Bosselait, who told selectmen that his department’s investigation of the incident was completed and that nothing suspicious was found in exploring the reasons for the explosion and subsequent fire.
Bosselait said evidence indicated that the Willowdale Road home of David and Valerie Fitzgerald was destroyed when a gas main leading into the house was accidentally pierced by an employee of the KeySpan gas company, while attempting to find the source of a possible leak. The house was blown apart, with pieces landing all over the neighborhood, then the wreckage was consumed by fire. The Fitzgeralds said they lost everything.
The fire chief congratulated his staff, as well as those from the Police and Highway departments, who responded quickly to the explosion and placed the entire area under tight security.
Echoing his colleague’s comments, Palma also praised public employees who served during the emergency and told selectmen that his report on the incident was also virtually complete, with no indication of anything unlawful involved.
No one was home at the time of the explosion and two missing family cats have since been found safe, though shaken up. — Pierre Comtois