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Water heater thefts led to Orleans explosion, court documents allege

New details about a devastating explosion in Ottawa’s east end suggest the blast is linked to the theft of water heaters.

Court documents allege that the man facing charges in the Feb. 13 blast broke into homes and removed water heaters, leaving the natural gas supply open that was later ignited.

In the days following the blast, Minto, the company building the homes, said it believed a natural gas leak was the cause of the explosion. The documents detail what police say happened leading up to the incident.

On Feb. 12, the day before the explosion, police allege Kody Troy Crosby, 35, broke into two homes under construction on Blossom Pass Terrace and removed water heaters; however, the natural gas line was left open, which ignited, causing the explosion on the morning of Feb. 13.

Crosby is facing 12 charges including four counts each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and arson causing bodily harm. Crosby is also charged with arson with disregard for human life, arson causing property damage and two counts of breaking and entering.

None of the accusations have been proven in court. Crosby's lawyer declined to comment Monday. Crosby is back in court next week.

The explosion on Feb. 13 destroyed four homes that were under construction and damaged many more in a wide radius. Two people were rescued from the rubble with serious injuries and several others were hospitalized, including children. 

Residents of nearly 30 households were displaced for several days. Those who were able to return found damage inside and outside their homes. 

--with files from CTV News Ottawa's Katie Griffin. Top Stories

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