After Brentwood blast, town eyes propane safety

Various emergency units responded to Midlane Road South

Various emergency units responded to Midlane Road South and Edge Road in Syosset to "burn off" a leaking propane tank reported by a homeowner. (Aug. 23, 2012) (Credit: Kevin Imm)

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Islip Town officials are weighing tighter restrictions on propane tanks at residential properties in light of the Brentwood house explosion that killed two people and hurt 17 others two weeks ago.

Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci said the town board plans to require homeowners with propane tanks to install anti-tamper devices. Town officials also plan to establish a sticker system that would help town inspectors quickly determine which propane tanks have been properly inspected. A propane tank with more than a 20-pound capacity on residential property requires a permit.

"It's something additional that the town can do at a low cost that will make our town safer," said Croci, who added that town authorities had taken "appropriate actions" against the homeowner regarding previous housing violations.

Croci said town officials are in the planning stages and could announce a detailed plan on the handling of propane tanks in a few weeks. Croci also said the town board would have to pass legislation to institute sanctions for those in violation of the new policy.

Rah-Quan Palmer, an 18-month-old boy, was killed in the Aug. 14 blast at 12 Prospect Dr., which town officials say was a "rooming house" that had racked up a series of housing violations. Patricia Salegna-Maqueda, 46, of North Babylon, an insurance agent who had been inspecting the basement after a flooding claim, later died at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Town officials said a pair of 200-pound propane tanks that were outside the house and which fire officials ultimately ruled as the source of the explosion, were not spotted by inspectors on several previous visits to the house. Town officials also said the tanks were not installed with the required permits.

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