The homeowner responsible for bringing a gas tank into his home, sparking a three-alarm blaze on June 12, will not receive a fine from the Kearny Fire Department.
According to Chief Inspector of the Bureau of Combustibles and Fire Official for the town of Kearny, Chuck Kerr — Jose Perez, resident of 304 Beech St., brought the gas tank into the basement of the home with a friend in an attempt to escape the rain. About a half hour later, around 2:40 p.m., Perez’s friend was outside of the house and heard a ‘whoosh,’ realizing the gas vapors had ignited somehow.
After an investigation, Kerr said that vapors from the gasoline were ignited by one of three pilot lights in the basement.
According to Kerr, gas, no matter how small, continues to evaporate. These vapors then fill the air and attach to clothing.
Perez’s friend told Kearny Fire Officials that the pair had been trying to unclog a gas line on the tank of a Nissan Pathfinder, and needed to take the tank out of the vehicle in order to repair it.
While no fines from the fire department will be issued to Perez for the fire, Perez might have to pay fines to the town for illegal apartment renting, which are $2,000 for each week the apartments existed.
-Anthony J. Machcinski