Brantford explosion called an 'incendiary act'
Brantford Police have released the cause of last year's deadly house explosion at 55 Ruffian Road.
On August 25, 2011, the two-storey home exploded and then collapsed in on itself. Debris damaged at least thirty neighboring homes.
The day after the explosion, the body of 56-year old Nancy Grasso was found in the basement. Nancy lived in the home with her 41-year old husband Henry Grasso, who was at work at the time of the explosion. Nancy had called in sick to work that day.
“I try to keep it together in front of people but it’s hard,” said Henry at the time.
After an extensive investigation, the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office determined the explosion was the result of an “incendiary act.” The incident has been ruled non-accidental and foul play was not involved.
Four months after the explosion Henry Grasso also died tragically. He was crossing a street in Burlington when he was hit by a car and dragged a short distance. Henry had been talking to his daughter on a cellphone at the time of the crash.
His death, coming so soon after Nancy’s own, stunned their family annd friends. They said Henry had finally accepted his wife’s death and was planning on rebuilding the home they shared.
One year later, and a new home is being built on the Grasso’s former property. Neighbors continue repairs on their own homes which were also damaged in the blast. Some are still dealing with insurance damage claims.
Jordan Jorna, a neighbor and Nancy’s former co-worker at McDonald’s, says the construction is a constant reminder of what happened that terrible day.
“Whether it was an accident or not, it’s still a tragedy. You drive by, you walk by, you go out onto your front lawn… it’s there. It still hasn’t gone away and it will be there for awhile.”