Blast jolts Simcoe neighbhourhood

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer




A traditional Scottish prayer asks the Lord to deliver us from things that go bump in the night.

Something certainly went bump in the night on Yeager Avenue in Simcoe in the early morning hours of Nov. 6.

Around 3:15 a.m., there was a thunderous rumble in the neighbourhood that shook some households.

Chris Gordy of Yeager Avenue happened to be up at that hour.

On Thursday, Gordy said she checked around the house to make sure everything was all right.

“This explosion happened and I thought. ‘Oh, my God,’” she said.

“But there was no lightning, nothing. I know I didn’t dream it. I checked the whole house to make sure there was no damage.”

This was not a minor explosion. Householders on Yeager closer to the ignition point reported that their toilets overflowed, as did some sinks.

Police have finally pieced together what happened.

Around 4 a.m. on Nov. 6, Norfolk OPP arrested three male teens in the area of Arthur Street. The three came to the attention of police after someone watched them casing parked vehicles.

Two 18-year-olds each are charged with possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and possession of break-in tools. One also is charged with possession of marijuana.

A 17-year-old is charged with possession of property obtained by crime and possession of marijuana.

Police have determined that the three had been in the area of Yeager Avenue, which is located near the intersection of Victoria Street and Donly Drive South.

While there, police suspect they took a gas can from a nearby garage and dumped its contents down a grate over a sanitary sewer. The fuel somehow ignited, causing an explosion and reversing the pressure on sewer connections leading into homes in the area.

Staff from Norfolk’s public works department inspected the system the next day. No damage was found.

Const. Ed Sanchuk of Norfolk OPP said no charges were laid in connection with the explosion because police can’t determine whether the act was deliberate. Sanchuk said the accused may simply have emptied the gas container to make it easier to carry.

Police have not released the identities of the 18-year-olds involved because that might identify the 17-year-old. The latter remains a minor according to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.