HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Homeowners at Riverside Landing in Huntsville shared their safety concerns after a series of incidents occurred stemming from construction in the neighborhood they believe to be internet service-related projects.
In early March, News 19 responded to a home explosion on Brevard Boulevard that left a family of seven without a home. Ethan Fitzgerald, Moores Mill Volunteer Fire Department’s public information officer, confirmed that the explosion was the result of a natural gas line being hit while an independent contractor was doing work in the area.
While covering the story, other homeowners stepped forward to talk about previous incidents in the neighborhood.
“They never notified anyone up front who was doing that,” said Ronald Baer. He explained an influx of trucks, work crews and digging had begun suddenly without “any warning”.
Baer and his family were left without internet for five days after a contractor cut the fiber lines connected to their home. This was just days before the house next door exploded after the gas line was hit. Baer says he was “disappointed” to see construction continue in the neighborhood after the explosion.
Riverside Landing management identified the worker as a “boring contractor,” who was working for Comcast at the time. The company released a statement to News 19 saying in part,
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“We are aware of a recent incident involving a contractor performing work for Comcast in Huntsville. Comcast is gathering information and coordinating closely with all parties.
As background, our contractors use what are called locates, or highlighted ground markers, as guides for where various gas, electric or other utility lines are buried. These markings dictate where it is safe for contractors to work, and where they should specifically avoid…
Editor’s Note: Comcast reached out to News 19 after this article was published, asking to adjust their statement to reflect that work began, stopped, and re-started. Their adjusted statement is below:
Work recently began again in some parts of the neighborhood, but not in the immediately impacted area. As background, we were in the process of building out our network to Riverside Landing in Huntsville. This work was part of a larger network expansion across the region.”Alex Horowitz, Vice President of Public Relations at Comcast
Despite work from Comcast coming to a halt on Brevard Boulevard, neighbors are still worried that construction is still going on as internet services are deployed.
As of today, independent contractors from additional internet-service providers are still doing work at Riverside Landing.
News 19 has reached out to Huntsville Utilities about the home explosion. They are continuing to investigate. The independent contractor working for Comcast has still not been identified.