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Identities released in fatal house explosion

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Albany/HV: Identities released in fatal house explosion
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The investigation continues into a house explosion in Salem. Five people were killed and several others were hurt. Our C.J. Spang has been following this story and joined us with the latest.

SALEM, N.Y. -- Five people have now died and another six are injured following Wednesday's house explosion on Route 29 in Salem. What was once a house is now nothing but debris strewn in every direction.

"Thirty years in the fire service, I've never seen anything in Salem looking like this in my entire life. Never seen it anywhere. Only on TV," Salem Fire Chief Robert Graham said.

Family members say residents of the house previously complained of smells of gas in the home. The owners of the house told us they couldn't comment.

"She complained to the landlord. I mean the odor of the gas, I remember hearing about it a month or two ago about it, a couple times what happened," Lawrence Berg Sr. said.

Investigators say they have no timeline as they try to determine the official cause of the fatal blast.

"Once we determine where the origin was, we can look at the cause. Indications just from blast debris, things that we look at, are pretty much in line with a gas type explosion. So we're not focused on that, but that is a concern of ours," Washington County Fire Investigator Stephen Wilbur said.

"It was a tragic thing that happened. I wouldn't wish this on nobody. I would never wish this on anybody," Berg Sr. said.

The family is asking for the community's help because they have nothing left. Donations can be made through Glens Falls National Bank under Tabatha Millington.

State Police said Tammy Palmer, 41, Clarissa Lyn Porlier, 19, and Robert Sanford, 16, all died in the explosion. Lawrence Berg, Jr., 19, and 2-month-old Niyah Lynne Durham both died at Albany Medical Center.

Steven McComsey, 32, Daniel Wilcox, 43, Alicia Berg, 21, Brianna Berg, 17, Chelsey Wilcox, 15, Darrell Durham, 20, were injured and taken to hospitals.


Photo of Robert Sanford unavailable

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