Charges still possible in fatal Bath home explosion

Posted Feb. 26, 2013, at 8:27 p.m.

BATH, Maine — While the state fire marshal’s office will not file charges in the Feb. 12 explosion that killed a 64-year-old Bath woman, the state agency that regulates oil and solid fuel — including the propane that heated the Bluff Road home — has not yet filed its report, and charges still may be levied, Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state fire marshal’s office said Tuesday.

The state fire marshal’s office’s final report on the incident won’t be complete until it receives information from the Oil and Solid Fuel Board, a subagency of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. Grimes, who is leading the investigation into the explosion for the fire marshal’s office, said the decision by his office not to file charges was made without any information from the fuel board.

“We are not going to be charging, but the regulatory process is still ongoing,” he said Tuesday.

Early the morning of Feb. 12, a duplex on Bluff Road exploded, killing Dale Ann Fussell, 64, who lived in one of the apartments in the duplex, and injuring four others. A leak in a propane line caused the explosion, the state fire marshal’s office determined the next day.

While no charges “in our purview” will be levied, Grimes said, “Oil and Solid Fuels may have something different. They evaluate to see if there was a violation of the law” and could file charges either through the state fire marshal’s office or the attorney general’s office.

Grimes said it could take weeks or months before the official fire marshal’s office report is complete.

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