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Queens Chronicle

FDNY rules out Rapid Repairs as cause of Howard Beach explosion

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Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:57 pm | Updated: 3:43 pm, Fri May 31, 2013.

The FDNY has ruled out repairs carried out under New York City’s Rapid Repairs program as the cause of the explosion on Wednesday that sent a Howard Beach woman to a burn center and destroyed the home she shares with her husband.

Theresa Pepitone was taken to the burn center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan on Wednesday after her house exploded at around 2 p.m.

“The fire remains under investigation by fire marshals,” said FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer in an email. “Rapid Repair has been ruled out as a cause of the fire.”

Rapid Repair was instituted by the city to fast-track construction work on houses that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October.

Pepitone’s house, at 162-39 84 St. was damaged in the hurricane. The Queens Chronicle has reported information from the city Department of Buildings stating that Rapid Repairs was authorized to replace a gas line in the couple’s home on May 23.

The Fire Department declined comment when asked what information uncovered in the investigation led fire marshals to exclude the repair work as a possible cause

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