Cleanup processes have been slow going since the incident, which former state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine said was caused by tampering associated with house’s gas lines.
Cotton States, the homeowners’ insurer, has declined to indemnify claims from the homeowner or third parties affected by the explosion “upon information and belief, the explosion was intended to result or was reasonably expected to result from the intentional act of arson committed by the insureds … or at their request or for their benefit, or by a conspiracy to which the insureds belonged,” according to documents related to a civil suit filed by Cotton States in Gordon County Superior Court.
Therefore, cleanup has fallen to the city of Calhoun, but the process involves more than simply sending crews out to begin the heavy lifting.
The city is currently in the throes of a nuisance abatement process in which municipal court will allow the city to have access to the property, explained City Administrator Eddie Peterson.
The city gained consent from the homeowners to access the property for cleanup purposes, but since then, two banks and an insurance company have become involved.
The city has had to re-file its nuisance abatement complaint.
“It’s kind of put us behind,” Peterson said, but added, “it will come to pass.”
He estimated the city is about 30 days behind the original cleanup process timeline.