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Salem House Explosion Statements

Salem House Explosion Statements

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Published by WNYT13
Statements related to the investigation of the 2011 house explosion in Salem, N.Y.
Statements related to the investigation of the 2011 house explosion in Salem, N.Y.

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Published by: WNYT13 on Jun 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/14/2012

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06/14/201204:155185800713WNVTSARATOGAPAGE01
STATEOFNEWYORKCOUNTYCOURT
COUNTY
OFWASHINGTON
OFFiceOFTI-lECLERK
SUPREME
e
COUNTY
COURTS
JUN
11
20
i?
WASHINGTON
COUNTY
HEPEOPLEOFTHESTATEOFNEWYORK
-AGAINST-NoticePursuantto
Article710ofthe
C.P.L.
Indictment1-080-2012
Steven
McComsey.
Defendant.
ThePeopleoftheStateofNewYork,
by
KevinC.Kortright,
Bsq.,
DistrictAttorneyfor
the
CountyofWashington,StateofNewYork,herebyprovide
notice
totheabovenameddefendantof
the
intentionofthePeopletooffer
at
trialthe
followingevidence:
[8]Evidenceofa
statement
made
by
the
defendanttoapublicservant,whichstatement
if
involuntarilymade
would
rendertheevidence
thereof
suppressibleupon
motionpursuantto
subdivision
three
ofsection
710.20
ofthe
Criminal
Procedure
Law.Such
statement,ifapplicable,
consisted
of:
l8l
Evidenceoforalandwrittenstatements:seeattached
1.SummaryofStatementsSJS4148862
2.Statements
to
Tracy
Sne11on
7/13/11
3.StatementstoDet,LarryCoteon
7113111
onattached
C.D.
4.Threepage
diagramofhomemade
by
defendantDated:June14,2012Yours,etc.KevinC.Kortright,Esquire
Washington
County
DistrictAttorney
CountyCourthouseBuilding
FortEdward,NewYork12828Tel:(518)746-2525
 
06/14/201204:155185800713WNVTSARATOGAPAGE02
EXPLOSIONINVEsTIGATION
SJS414Bts62
CPL710.30
1.
2.
3,
StatementtoTracySnellon07-13-1L
{attached}
StatementstoDel
Larry
Coleon07-13-11..{CDAttached}
Oral(telephone)statementtoInv.DJMosheron
07-13-11.
On
07/14/11,
IcontactedSTEVENM.MCCOMSEY
08/20/78,
regardingthepropanetanksat4383State
ROUle
29,
intheTownofSalem,NY,MCCOMSEYstatedthathecamehomefromworkingwilhTAMMYPALMERandhehadaCigaretteoutsidetheresidence.MCCOMSEYnoticedapl!ffofblacksmokecomingoulofthechimneyandwent11'110hebasementtocheckthefurnace.MCCOMSEYcheckedthefUr.laceanditwashottotouch,MCCOMSEYsmeltedtheodorof
sulfur
inthebasement,MCCOMSEYwentoutsIde
to
gelsomeairandaskedPALMERlflheheatwasonand
it
wasnotMCCOMSEYwenlbackintotMba$ementandturned
Off
thepropanetothewatertanknearthefurnace.MCCOMSEYthenwentbackOlltsideandturnedoffth&lpropanetanksattachedtothehouse,MCCOMSE~.YfirstwelnttothetanktowardsGreenWich(westtank)andtheuntoffvalvedidnotturn,MCCOMSEYthenwent
to
thetanktowardsthedriveway{easttank)andthevalvetumeda
few
titTlesuntilIt
waS
off,MCCOMSEYfurtherstatedthatthetanktowardsthedrivewaywasthegastheywereusingtocookwithandheatwateronthesecondnoor.
MCCOMSEY
advisedthetenkunderthestalrswasarielectricwaterheateranditwasheatingwaterto
his
bedroom.IadvisedMCCOMSEYthatthetanktowardsthedriveway
WEIS
not
5upposed
tobeinuseandhesaid,"really:
4,
.".I
2.2..~..
'd..
·b
5.Phonecal1toStevenMcComsey
by
Sr.lnv.ThomasAikenon08-08-11.
PhonecaUtoStevenM.McComseyOnMonday.
oe·08-11,
Sr.lnv,ThomasM.AikencalledSlevenM.McComsey
08-20-78by
telephoneat9:22a.rn.Thisphonecallwastohisbrother'shomephonenumber,
518-251-5929
andwasmade10set
UP
anappointmentforaninterviewwithSteventodiscussthecircumstancesInvolvingthisexploslon,Stevenatfirstsaidhedidnolthinkitwasagoodideatotalktothepollc~anymore.Hewastoldthathewastheonlyperson!hattheStatsPolleeandCause
&
OrigininvesHgatcrscouldtalktoregafdingtheappliancesandset
up
ofthehouse.Hefurtherstatedthathefeltthatpeopleweregoingtostartblaminghimforthisexplosionbecausehewasthelastpersoninthebasementbeforetheexplosion.Hewasaskedwhothesepeoplewereandherepliedthepropanecompanyandothers.HewastoldthattheonlypeoplelookingfOfanswerswithnobiasweretheStatePoliceandCause&Origininvestigators,HewastoldthatwehaveInterviewedthelandlordmanylimestogethisprospectiveonthehouse,butwedidnotwanttoonlyrelyonwhathewassaying.Hewastoldthathewastheonlyhouseholdmemberthatwe'CouldIntervlewtogetanswersandhethenagreed
to
meetwithusonMonday,August15that
9:00
a.m,attheSPGreenwichOffice.Heaskediftiecouldbringanattomeywithhimandhewastoldyes.
6.InterviewofStevenMcComseyatSPGreenwichon08-20-11.
St.
Inv.ThomasAiken,Steve
WilburandAttorneyPaul
Wein.
{Copyof
diagram
is
attached}
InlerviewofStevenM.McComsey08-20-78On
06-18·11
Sr.lnv,ThomasM.AikenandWashingtonCountyfireinvestigatorStelleWilbllrInterviewedStevenMcComseyatSPGreenwichinthepresenceofhisattorneyPaulWeln.Mr.Weinrefused
to
allSieveMcComseytoansweranyejuestlonsabouthisactivitiesor
whereabOuts
onthedayof
the
sxploelon.Hestated
that
Stevewasinlerv.iewed
inthe
pMt
andhewantedtoseethe"transcripts"oftheseinterviewsprior10allowinghimtobequestionedfurther.DuringIhisconversation,Steveprovidedahandwrittendiagramshowingallthreefloorsoftheresidencepriortotheexplosion.Hemadethefollowingstatements:1,Therewasagas
line
endinginthecrawlspacewithnoshutofforcapon
it.
Hesaid
it
wasjustcutoffand
it
wasfortheformerapartment.2,Therewasagas
line
thatendedin
the
basementceilingnearandabovethewelltankwithnoshutofforcaponthe
line.
 
06/14/201204:155185800713WNVTSARATOGAPAGE03
...
,~
3.Therewas
a
gaslineabovethewasherin
the
basementthatIsthereforagas
dryer
hookup.Hesaidtherewasnoshutoffor'caponthls1ineeither,•...NOTE·thisgaslinewashookedupto
the
activetank,so
if
therewasnoshutoffDrcap,thengaswouldhavebeenalways
floWing
intothebasement.TheyhadanelectricdryersotheydidnotusethishOOKup.4,Hedidnotknow
if
tl'lerewereany.
regulators
onthetwo
outside
gastanks.5.Kedid
1'101
knowwhichtanksuppliedpropane
to
thehouse,Heclidnotknowanythingaboutthetanksanddidnotknow
if
either
Wefe
nOIbeingused.6,TherewasagaslineinthelivingroomthroughtheflooragainstthewallneartheTVwithashutvalve.butnocap.7.Thewesttankwasonaslab.Hedidnotknow
if
Ihe
1335\
tankwasonaslab.8,He
acknowledged
thatheWassupposedtopeyfor
the
propane.butthe
land
lordpaidforallof
It
todate.Heslaledhenevercheekedthe
lsvets
inthetanks
and
didnotknow
if
therewasasatschedulerorfitlingthem.9.HehadanelectricdryerInthebasementthat'hSlYused.Itventedoutthroughawindowabovethefoeloiltank.10.Therewasastorage
area
InthebasementthathesaidTammyhadalotof'heirstuffIn.Hehadsometools
in
there.Hehadhisworkshopinthisroom.Nofurnitureinthisstoragearea.11.Hesaidjustpriortotheexplosion.hewentout10shutoffthetanksandtheonelankwasopenandheshut
if
alltheway
off
andtheothertankheonlyhad
to
shutalittlebit.,2.Hes~aledthstregistersforhealingwereaddedtotheupstairsbedroom,NOworkonthefurnace.13,HestatadhereplacedtheswitchonthewaterhOldingtankinthespringof2011.HesaidDavewastherewatchinghim
and
DaveboughtthepartattheSalemhardwarestore.
14.
Hestaledthatlastmonth,therewasn'tenoughwalerpressureintheupstairsbathroom,soshowersSincethenwerealltakendownstairs.He
said
theydidtakeshowersupstairspriortolastmonth.HesaidtheynevercelledD311e.thelandlord,aboutthis.
15.
Hestatedtheelectrichotwaterheaterwasonandheatedthemasterbathroomonly.Noproblemswith
It.
16.HestatedtheonlyproblemwithIhegashalwaterhealerwaswhentheyranoutofpropaneandDavehadtorelightthepilotlight.NootherproblemswithIt.Hesaidthiswaterheaterwasforthekit~henandupstairsbathroom.17.Hestatedthattherewasanelectricalpanelforservicewhereabreakerwouldtripwhenalotofappllanceswere:usedatthesametime.1B.HeSlatedthattherewerenoproblemswithIhewasherordryer,19.Heslatedthecookingstovewasfairly
new.
Hesaidyouwouldhavetotvrn
the
ovento500degreestolight11anditwouldnotgodownfromthera.HeSaidthetopburnersstayedonahighflamealso.Hesaidhenever
caned
thelandlordaboutthis.20,~esaidthecrawlspaceaveraged3'Inheightandtherewasnolhinginthereotherthanthatonegaslineandwaterlines,Hesaidhewentintheratorun
iii
TVcable
line.
a
SI
asn
In
thehousenor
0
t
e
Y
I
ewu22.HesaidthatGlensFallsHeatingandOil
provided
theIUs
0
orea.e
S
10
theywentthrough$5200lastwinter.~e
said
it
was
allpaidfor
by
HEAP,Salvation
Army
andDlilveexceptforafewcansofl<erOienethathepurchasedatstoreslikeStewarts.HesaidDavebought100gallonsandIhattherewas200gallonsinthetankwhentheymovedin,'
23.Hesaid
theteweretwohealingzones,
One
rharrncstatintheMllsterBadroomwhichtheykeptsetto80
and
oneinth[;llivingroomIhatthsykeptsetat
10.
Hesaidthemasterbathroomwasalwayscoldinthewinter.
24,'.
t
sainhewasblown
200
feetandlanded
acron
theroadin
til!,!
neighbor'sfrand.Whentoldthatwilneesstaled
be
eodad..lJP
nellt
toDElnWilcoxin.
rill
wanearthecarsannotarromthebackdoor.hestatedthat
hi!!
onlvre
M
Ilm99rsb;ing.acmss
theload_
.WhenStevewasaskedabouthIsrelationshiptoTammyand
if
heplannedtostaywithher,heabrupllyleftthe
offiCI!
and
n~amebaCK,-
=
AcopyofIhethreepage
diagram
drawn
by
StevenMcComseyisattachedtothisreport.
2

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