Friday, October 22, 2010

Home Explosion Investigation Double-Speak

  
It's been a full week since the home of Wayne & Pat Lewis at 219 Everclay Dr. exploded then burned to the ground, injuring both and destroying everything they owned. As usual, we've been given no official word on the cause of this tragic disaster. Like so many other headline stories in Greece, I doubt we ever will.

Why the skepticism, you ask? The answer is contained within the Oct. 20th D&C story about the fundraiser to help this unfortunate couple (planned for Saturday during the library's annual Arts Festival, an event which Pat Lewis arranges each Fall).   

Near the end, the article mentions that Pat Lewis was able to give "marching orders every time I go up to see her" (related to the Arts Festival) to Greece Library Director Bernadette Foster during her visits to see the patient. But earlier in the article, the claim is made by Sam DeRosa, Monroe County fire coordinator, that "doctors haven't given investigators permission to interview Pat Lewis about what happened." To me, that sounds like an over-used excuse, at this point in time, not to mention how it belies the remark made by Ms. Foster.

The message to all is that the patient is well enough to worry about and express concerns to her boss/visitor over the duties she is missing out on at work, but she remains too injured to respond to the question investigators want to ask the most: "What happened?" Double-speak, I say! Perhaps the investigators intend to cover up for the fact that they don't know the cause and don't want to tell us that they may never know.

If that isn't bad enough, I can't help but wonder why the reporter who wrote this piece didn't ask anyone on the record about these conflicting messages ... which takes me back to my original statement about how this is like so many other headline stories that come out of Greece.

We'll probably never hear the end result of the investigation, especially if the cause remains a mystery. The "powers that be" are too afraid of alarming the community with the knowledge that this sort of incident could happen to any one of us! And the media are too inept to ask the obvious questions that would shed light on the truth. Double-speak is the answer that soothes the worries of the populace, especially in an election year, especially in a closed, clubby and corrupt town like Greece, NY.


27 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's really too bad you can't run the town, the school district and be the head reporter for all media. Everything would certianly be right with the world if that was the case. And did you ever stop to think that really it's not any of anyones business what happened at the home other then the homeowners, the insurance company and the officals (of which you aren't).

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you're using this tragic incident and these people to attack town officials. It's disgusting. How about a little care and compassion, or are you not capable of that?

SCATS said...

To 10:21AM ~~ Since other people's property (neighbors) was damaged and since anyone in the area was at risk of injury from an EXPLOSION, it IS everyone's "business." Getting to the cause is important to prevent future incidents, injuries and even death. The Lewis couple are lucky to be alive.

By the way, I like how you pull the old shoot the messenger trick again. Putting the problem back onto me doesn't address the double-speak issue I raised and which you ignored ;)

SCATS said...

To 10:29AM ~~ I'm not "using" the victims. Please re-read for comprehension.

Anonymous said...

This is one more glaring example of the media failing the people. The reporter mentioned should be out of a job. If officials can't determine a cause, they should say so as soon as possible. This affects us all. Letting these headline stories die without addressing the issues creates more suspicion in the community. After the PD scandal, Greece certainly doesn't need any more of that. Kudos to SCATS for keeping us aware! Thumbs down to the first two comment authors. They missed the point, probably on purpose.

SCATS said...

Thank you, 10:54AM :)

Anonymous said...

Cars get set on fire, but we don't know why. Bodies get discovered in parking lots, but we don't know why. Houses blow up without warning, but we don't know why. There's a pattern of leaders neglecting to communicate with us, but we don't know why. When questions go unanswered it makes me wonder what our leaders are up to this time. Time to vote for big change in November.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it effects the neighbors but it still doesn't effect you unless you're a neighbor. It doesn't need to be in the paper or on the news. People need to get a life and learn to mind their own business. Why does everyone else need to know all the information. Is there nothing in this world that is private anymore?

SCATS said...

To 11:27AM ~~ You don't know the cause so you can't be sure whether or not it impacts yourself, me or anyone else, right? If the cause were determined to be a defective coupling on the dryer, would that be my "business?" If it was determined that RGE was at fault, would that be my "business?" If the dryer is being recalled, would that make it my "business?"

The question here is not about the couple, folks. It's about what made them victims and how you and I can prevent becoming victims like them in the future ;)

Anonymous said...

11:27 had they kept the explosion to themselves it could have remained private. This was an extraordinary situation. I agree we're all touched by it. I see nothing intrusive toward the Lewis family in the blog Scats posted. Prevention in future is the one positive outcome possible from this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Scats, you should be careful.
It is just as likely that this was not an "accident" at all.
The fact is that we don't know what happened. Maybe the officials are trying to gather all pertinent facts and then release their findings.
The homeowner is still in the hospital, as far as anyone can tell, no one is in imminent danger. Officials are conducting a thorough investigation. Why not let it take it's course.

It seems that if the homeowner had any interest in speaking with officials that would have happened by now.
Why put the onus on town officials?

Anonymous said...

There are many conflicting reports with this tragedy. The neighbor says he pulled her out, but the husband has said the same thing. If she was next to the dryer and it blew, how did it not knock her to the ground, unconscious, if the furnace was faulty they need to find out. If it was new and the safety shut off failed to function others that have the same furnace could experience the same result.

I agree if library staff are visiting at the hospital, how is it the FD can not ask questions?

Anonymous said...

I know that this post will not make it to the blog, but has anyone asked themselves how it is possible that these folks did not smell gas, enough gas to cause a small explosion? This, coupled with a few other items that have been mentioned, lead me to believe that something is fishy.

SCATS said...

To 12:06PM ~~ I should be careful? Of what? People like you? Why would you attempt to make that threatening sounding statement and then pose the question of whether or not this was truly an accident? No one has questioned that it was anything but accidental! It seems as if it already has "taken it's (sic) course" ... thus my BLOG questioning why we haven't been clued in ;)

SCATS said...

To 12:09PM ~~ Yes, there are conflicting reports about how they all got out. FYI, I heard it reported that Pat Lewis was in fact knocked unconscious very briefly.

To 12:15PM ~~ How much gas is needed to cause an explosion? Do you know? I don't. However, I do know that a gas leak can occur without residents knowing there is any such problem. It's happened at my home! The worst part is that our CO detector didn't warn that there was any problem.

Anonymous said...

The CO detector is not made to alert to natural gas.

The basement was likely to be full of gas, or the furnace chamber had collected gas and when the furnace sparked it blew. It is un-likley that a dryer would have caused an explosion unless of course the basement was full of gas...seems that is the unlikely source if she was folding sheets and the dryer was already running that morning. I

Anonymous said...

To scats from 12:06.

You should be careful of sounding foolish. Just because the fire dept hasn't taken the time to inform you of the minute by minute progress of their investigation, doesn't mean that they aren't doing their job.

What gives you the impression that the investigation has taken its course? The article in the D&C clearly states that the investigation continues.

I agree that the "doctors haven't given investigators permission to interview Pat Lewis about what happened." is an excuse used very often. It is interesting that you think the Monroe County fire investigator is the one using the excuse. I am sure he is colluding with the doctors to make this investigation drag out.

How about waiting for someone who actually know something to say it.

Anonymous said...

Natural Gas Leaks
Most homeowners are aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide in the home. Combustible gas is a more prevalent, if less publicized danger. You might think that if an appliance is leaking combustible gas you'd smell it. For large gas leaks, this is true, but small gas leaks can be absorbed into the air without you knowing it. This won't cause your home to explode into a fireball, but it can unwittingly cause headaches, nausea, tiredness, and other symptoms. To give you an idea of the prevalence of these low level gas leaks, one study found that as many as 8 out of 10 homes had some kind of gas leakage.

Read more: http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.Gas-Detectors.14902.html#ixzz136k3YeW5

SCATS said...

To 12:48PM ~~ CO detectors do alert for partially combusted gas. Is such gas still explosive? You're correct that she had taken one load of laundry out and put a second one in, according to reports. I hadn't thought about the role the furnace may have had in this. Thanks for pointing that out!

SCATS said...

To 12:51PM ~~ I am not worried about sounding foolish, especially not after reading comments like yours. Quoted from the article: "Sam DeRosa, Monroe County fire coordinator, said investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire. He said doctors haven't yet given investigators permission to interview Pat Lewis about what happened."

Get it yet?

Anonymous said...

Scats, I get it.

"Doctors" are preventing investigators from speaking to the injured homeowner.

It's not the investigators dragging their feet.
Unless you think the investigators are making that up?

SCATS said...

To 1:18PM ~~ Obviously, you still don't get it. I wrote in the BLOG: "To me, that sounds like an over-used excuse, at this point in time, not to mention how it belies the remark made by Ms. Foster."

Maybe that guy should ask again ;)

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at the predictability of the defenders of the Grecian empire in responding defensively to everything SCATS posts! If anyone needs a life, it certainly must be them.

Keep up the good work SCATS! Keep the b*stards on their toes! This blog is the best thing that ever happened to this place.

Anonymous said...

To SCATS @1:06:
When a hydrocarbon (i.e., methane, or natural gas) burns completely, the result is H2O (vapor) and CO2. When it does not burn completely (due to non-ideal temperatures, oxygen levels, or contaminants in the gas line) there is a combination of CO (which is toxic to humans) and CO2. It does NOT mean that only part of the methane burned. A CO detector does not detect methane.

SCATS said...

To 3:02PM ~~ Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Common sense tells me that if they don't know the cause after a week, they won't ever know. Like Scats seems to suggest- getting them to admit they don't know is the issue now.

Anonymous said...

There is a dual detector that you can get at home depot that detects natural gas leaks as well as carbon monoxide leaks. Cost about $60 made by the Kidde company. Needless to say they were all sold out last weekend and are on back order.