gas Explosion on Cleveland's West Side W. 83rd and Madison - shatter windows of homes more than two blocks away

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Mon, 01/25/2010 - 18:25.

 explosion01.jpgExplosion on Cleveland's West Side

[Posted by Gabriel Baird, The Plain Dealer January 25, 2010, 3:58 PM]


      explosion01.jpgFrank Miller, Special to The Plain DealerFirefighters battle fire caused by a house explosion on W. 83rd and Madison Monday. The pile of rubble is the house that exploded. The house next to it was badly damaged.By Pat Galbincea and Gabriel Baird

CLEVELAND, Ohio - An explosion destroyed a house in the 2000 block of West 83rd Street near Madison Avenue this afternoon sending a force through the neighborhood strong enough to shatter windows of homes more than two blocks away.

Firefighters were working to contain the fire of the vacant home. The explosion damaged the house next door destroying about half of the structure. Natural gas is the suspected cause of the explosion, according to people at the scene. No one has been living in the house.

Several neighbors whose homes were damaged were taken to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries, officials said.

Neighbor Bill Calberwood said he was walking his dog when he heard and felt the blast just after 3 p.m. Calberwood said he called the Dominion East Ohio Gas Co. on Friday to complain about an odor of natural gas coming from the house. 

Councilman Matt Zone said the house has been a problem property and the city has been trying to get it condemned. The gas company employee was at the house on Friday, Zone said, but apparently could not find the shut-off valve.   

Police and firefighters will investigate whether pipes were ripped out of the house by thieves.



Some people in the neighborhood told reporters that they complained of the smell of gas last week and that a company official then visited the home but did not turn off the gas.

Dominion East Ohio Gas Co. spokesman Neil Durbin, who was on the scene Monday as firefighters worked to extinguish the last of the flames, could not immediately confirm or refute those claims.

Once the firefighters finish up, company officials will help in determining the cause of the explosion, Durbin said.

As a precaution, gas to homes in the surrounding block was turned off, Durbin said.

Durbin said that in addition to the two-story colonial and damaged about 17 others, said

with a gabled roof as having been built more than 100 years ago. Records list the home as having been in fair condition.

James and Irene Garman sold the home in December 2008 for $13,500 to EZ Access Funding LLC, according to Cuyahoga County Auditor records.

The auditor's records described the two-story colonial with a gabled roof as having been built more than 100 years ago. Records list it in fair condition.

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think this only happens in the city?

Live near a drilling site - like in Lyndhurst where there is gas drilling at a public park - Don't light up - this could be your lovely baronial manse... only you won't smell it coming.

In Bainbridge a house was blown right off it's foundation. Water is still an issue there.

Hope no one was hurt by the explosion or by the fire

I hope the community determines if this was a complaint that was ignored by the gas company, or not.   Complaints of the smell of gas needs to be taken seriously to protect the community. 

If you call and still smell gas after the gas company responds, call again.  Insist that the gas company finds the source of the gas leak and turns it off.   This could have been prevented.

Again...hope no one was hurt.  Also hope the home owners have good home insurance to cover the damange. 


me too

Just to be clear on my point regarding opening more gas leak hazards - Gas Companies are trying to drill for natural gas anywhere they can get property owners to agree - see that sparkle in the eyes of your neighbors? See the lottery like glaze over and glint of potential gaseous cash in the ground? "Yep - let 'em drill - Wahoo! We'll be like the Beverly Hillbillies!" (oops...that was oil)

But the point is that natural gas has no smell until it is added:

In any form, a minute amount of odorant such as t-butyl mercaptan, with a rotting-cabbage-like smell, is added to the otherwise colorless and almost odorless gas, so that leaks can be detected before a fire or explosion occurs. Sometimes a related compound, thiophane is used, with a rotten-egg smell. Adding odorant to natural gas began in the United States after the 1937 New London School explosion. The buildup of gas in the school went unnoticed, killing three hundred students and faculty when it ignited. Odorants are considered non-toxic in the extremely low concentrations occurring in natural gas delivered to the end user.

So in this case it does seem that EOG was the culprit and I am glad that no one was reported as being in the house. Because of the added odorant, they would have smelled it. What will come out of the ground near a drill has no smell. You wouldn't even know what hit you.

From what I read, only minor injuries were reported. Thankfully.

maybe the gas bill

maybe the gas bill was not overdue. I think that they can only find the shut off valve when money is involved. 

Bill Callahan has followed the money as usual

Bill has the trail on this and phone numbers to call to find out if EZ was paying the gas bill.

I will leave this to the investigators. But I would imagine that those phone lines might be pretty busy right about now. For these vacant properties it would also be helpful to know what service company the predatory lender/owner has hired to maintain them.

follow the money is good

The neighbors in that area have looked up the various owners of these vacant properties and written letters to the owners and investors. The committee working on this has counted 126 vacant houses in that area. The compliants go to Judge Pianka, but I understand that no one shows up in court on behalf of the property until judgement is rendered and then, the appeals start. Then someone shows up.

Corporate owners charged

Corporate owners charged with housing violations fined $1,000 a day for missing court

By Joan Mazzolini, The Plain Dealer

January 16, 2010, 1:00AM

ray-pianka.jpgScott Shaw, Plain Dealer fileCleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond PiankaCLEVELAND, Ohio -- A group of corporate landowners owe more than $2.5 million to the Cleveland Housing Court, with the tab for some growing by $1,000 a day per home.


The 30-plus companies own about four dozen homes that have been cited for code violations and have ignored two court summonses.

After the second failure to appear in court, Cleveland Housing Judge Ray Pianka found them in contempt and started charging the $1,000-a-day fine, which is allowed by law.

The clock started ticking a little more than 56 days ago, so all 30 owe $56,000 for each property where they were charged with violations.

And about 18 of those companies failed to show up again for a court appearance this week, keeping the fine growing.

"For the ones that came in [Monday], they purged themselves of the future fine but not the past fine," Pianka said. "For me it's . . . about having respect for the court and the citizens of Cleveland."

Rather than coming in to deal with the charge, and perhaps plead not guilty, they just ignored it, Pianka said. "At least that's what it looks like," he said.

One of the companies is Bryce Peters Financial, which according to its Web site is headquartered in Reno, Nev. Bryce Peters has seven properties in Cleveland that have either been cited for violations or have been ticketed, according to court records.

Calls to the two phone numbers listed, only one of which took messages, were not returned.

And another company, National Asset Management Group, has eight homes in Cleveland that have been cited for housing violations or ticketed. The company couldn't be reached for comment.

In the meantime, Pianka said the companies that missed two court dates have already been "ordered into civil judgment and civil collection," meaning liens can be put on all their properties until they pay the contempt fines.

Pending a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court, Pianka has suspended his practice of holding trials for companies that don't show up, called trial in absentia.

Since 2007, 47 such trials have been held. But two companies, Washington Mutual Bank and Destiny Ventures LLC, have gotten conflicting decisions from courts when they appealed convictions made in absentia.

In the Washington Mutual case, the appeals court overturned the conviction. In the Destiny Ventures case, the court upheld it.

Now both cases are before the Ohio Supreme Court, which has heard oral arguments but has not yet ruled. Pianka said the in absentia trials are faster than holding companies in contempt.

view the full story by going to

  **My computer will not let me cut/paste PD's website location**

Very difficult situation to deal with for housing court judges nationwide. 

Bill Callahan article

good article, Susan.

When I was checking out the Auditor's website for info on Walworth / West 53rd area the other day for transfer info in the area of Ashbury Towers Project, E Z Access funding caught my eye for some reason.  I went back to the Auditor's website and noticed that they bought a house located at 4477 West 53rd Street for $8,000 from Fannie Mae on 1-20-09.  It was taken back by Fannie Mae at auction for $20,000 on 10-10-08.

The tax bill is going to:





4477 W 53 ST, Cleveland, OH 44144




I could not find out where their other properties are located because it is hard to search for company names.

Callahan article- Marc Tow letter

Complaints that Callahan mentioned regarding E Z Access  Funding (Marc Tow) and the house that blew up on West 83rd.

Rip-off Report, Response from Marc Tow

You have only told one side of the story. You left out the part where I refunded you a portion of the fee paid, for service that were completed.

I cannot go into detail about your file, out of ethical and moral constraints, but there are two sides to every story.

The loan modification and Loan Litigation process is a very long one, and it is getting worse by the day. One lender has told me that the used to get 3000 request for modifications every month, now they are getting 3000 a day. Lenders are overwhelmed and I personally have found some lenders to be less than truthful with my clients regarding my efforts.

As I see it, the lenders are trying to maximize their return. In their efforts, they try everything to disrupt the attorney client relationship as they know that they can take advantage of homeowners that deal directly with them.

Lenders are not your friend, they are not really trying to help you, and they do not see you as a person who needs help.

With proper cooperation and succussful strategy, and sometimes a lot of patience, I get modifications done.

I welcome anyone to call my office and ask to speak to me directly regarding any negative posts regarding my service. You can come to my office and I can discuss any aspect of your case.

As with any business, I will have some unsatisfied customers. Often, they are unsatisfied for reasons beyond my control.

I am in the business of helping people, and I take that job very serious.

Thank you,
Marc R. Tow


Marc Tow is nothing but a crook, a thief, a liar, a scammer and a certified wacko. All the good reviews about him come from his office. He steals his own clients' money. He should never be allowed to practice law. He is a criminal. I hope that the State Attorney General puts him in jail and his law license is forever revoked.

December 06, 2009 by Anonymous in Newport Beach, CA  Liar and ripoff artist whose partner is a felon.I and 78 other people (and counting) have been ripped off to the tune of over $3.3 million in Marc's bogus investment schemes. Marc's partner at EZ Access/USA Wealth Institute, Michael Alexander, is a convicted felon whose crimes include pump-and-...
more here 

lots of complaints against him and his company. Lets hope that this serious complaint of blowing up our neighborhoods and causing poor people to be displaced gets some attention.



We have never in my time at the bar received so many complaints

more MARK TOW Complaints,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,



The California State Bar announced September 21 the names of 16 attorneys it is investigating in connection with "misconduct related to loan modification businesses. The Los Angeles Daily Journal reports the bar's action in releasing these names as having been taken in response to "'unprecedented complaints'" against some bar members.

"Although Bar investigations generally must be kept confidential until formal charges have been filed, confidentiality may be waived when "'warranted for protection of the public.'" Bar officials felt their waiver was warranted because of the severity of the foreclosure crisis.

"We have never in my time at the bar received so many complaints in connection with a single area of practice," notes the Bar's interim chief counsel.

The attorneys and their law firms are listed below:

  • Eric D. Johnson - Avantgarde Group
  • David Arase - Arase Law Firm | National Housing Assistance
  • Stephen Burns - Legal Group Network
  • Robert Buscho - United Law Group
  • Nicholas Chaverela - Rodis Law Group | America's Law Group
  • Steven Feldman - Feldman Law Center
  • Paul Lucas - Lucas Law Center
  • Brandon Moreno - U.S. Foreclosure
  • Jeffrey Nemerofsky - U.S. Advocacy Law Group
  • Gregory Paiva - Law Offices of Gregory Paiva
  • Adrian Pomery - U.S. Foreclosure
  • Ronald Rodis - Rodis Law Group
  • Mark Shoemaker - Advocates for Fair Lending
  • Marc Tow - Marc Tow and Associates
  • Sean Rutledge - United Law Group

more here

EZ Access and Tow under investigation

A grand jury has been convened to look at EZ Access and Tow locally and a search warrant is being executed in California. It has taken a long time to get to this point, even though tons of information were made available, including here on realneo by "gone fishin", a writer no longer with realneo.

Explosion Rocks The West Side

 I talked to Matt Zone, he was emotionally taked back by the event. At city council last night he spoke with  clairity of the devistation that silenced a room that is usually only silenced by a gavel. I read the pain he felt on what felt like his soul for his constituants in a certaintly less fortunate area of his ward. . I liked Matt before this happened, now I am really impressed with him as a human.

Really the building was blown away. Piles were across the street. Neighbors instantly homeless. The library folks and the Red Cross were great. Safety services were on the scene in minutes. Imagine, begging a cop to let you into your boarded up home. Instantly homeless.

I posted this on the Lakewood Observer web Site:

On Monday the 25th an explosion rocked the westside. A house one in from the corner of West 83rd and Madision in Cleveland just blew up. According to Councilman Matt Zone who was at the scene throughout the night, the home was a boarded up nuisence house that the city wanted torn down. The home was bought by EZ Access Funding LLC last year. It was reported that the gas company had been called and been out several times because the neighbors had smelled the odor of gas. Matt Zone was quick to issue praise for the Cleveland Public Library director who responded and asked his staff to keep the library open as long as it was necessary. He also praised the Red Cross, because they were there when the community needed them.

Way to go, Cleveland!  

Way to go, Cleveland!   Houses on the east side stuffed with bodies; houses on the west side blowing up.....

But, hey, we're getting a casino!