Debris from north St. Louis home explosion remains 3 months later

A mess remains in the yard of a North St. Louis neighborhood after a home explosion back on April 26, 2017. (Credit: KMOV)

A mess remains in the yard of a north St. Louis neighborhood after a home explosion back on April 26, 2017.

The home is on Oriole Avenue in the Baden Neighborhood.

The blast was so powerful it damaged the neighboring homes to the point where both of them are condemned by the city. However, those homeowners are upset that nothing has been done since, when they are not responsible for the cause of the explosion.

Tira Scales has been displaced with her two daughters since this explosion. They have been finding shelter each night with friends and family. Now Scales is left to deal with the mess that she did not make.

"My insurance is stepping up as far as the property, but the neighbor's insurance refuses to take any liability," said Scales.

She says she hasn't heard from the owner of the house that exploded since it happened. Now that it has been three months, she feels like it's up to her to pay if she wants anything done.

"I'm at a loss for words her. How can this be legal?" said Scales.

News 4 reached out to the city's Building Division to find out why the mess is still sitting there. Building Commissioner Frank Oswald says the Bomb and Arson Squad has been investigating the site this whole time.

"Essentially it's a crime scene," said Oswald.

While this investigation is going on, the site cannot be touched.

Oswald said St. Louis City Police wrapped up the investigation this week, but now, it's a private, civil matter. He says the homes' insurance companies have to battle it out to determine who is taking care of the mess and damage.

"Our objective once again is not to use city resources, taxpayers' money, in order to do what should be private work," said Oswald.

The Building Division says if nothing gets settled in another couple weeks, they will tear down the standing, condemned buildings, clean up the land, then take ownership on it and force the owner of the home that exploded to pay off the lien.

Scales is frustrated by the time this is taking and no one taking responsibility. She is going to start using her own insurance to get something done.

"I actually have hired someone myself to get started on the debris on my house, so that I can get a full estimate," said Scales.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

News 4 Reporter

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