Ottawa Man Pleads Guilty to Explosion, Causing 5 Million Worth of Damage and Injuring 12 People

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A guilty plea came from Kody Troy Crosby, a 35-year-old Ottawa man, for causing an explosion that resulted in the destruction of several homes, injuring 12 people, and causing over $5 million worth of damage. This incident took place in an Orléans subdivision during the past winter. Crosby was charged with breaking and entering a dwelling under construction with the intended aim of causing damage by explosion. Attired in simple jeans and black shirt, Crosby received a five-year prison sentence handed down by the presiding judge.

The shocking event started a usual morning with an abnormal sound – a massive explosion coupled with a colossal fireball jolted the Avalon Vista neighbourhood residents out of sleep at precisely 6:18 a.m. on February 13. The aftermath was nothing short of a battlefield with four homes under construction leveled to the ground, several others bearing the scars of the explosion, and nearly 30 families robbed of their homes.

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Prompt actions of the emergency crews resulted in the successful rescue of two individuals trapped within the debris of the homes. Out of all the people injured, four had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate medical attention. The police later discovered that two of the homes that Crosby broke into were under construction on Blossom Pass Terrace, the night before the explosion.

The courtroom discovered that Crosby, as per the statement of facts agreed upon in this case, had a nefarious plan to steal water heaters from these new homes. However, his act had unforeseen repercussions. As the water heaters were dislodged, the natural gas lines left unhindered began filling the townhomes with gas. The following day, unsuspecting contractors’ arrival consequently ignited the accumulated gas, triggering the catastrophic explosion.

The Ottawa Police Arson Unit took the lead in investigating the explosion. They released charges against Crosby in March, relying heavily on the evidence amassed from the video surveillance footage that placed him at the scene. As per the estimates from Minto, the damage was pegged at $5.3 million. The court confirmed that four townhomes under construction were completely wiped out by the explosion, obliging demolition of numerous other damaged homes.

Among the many affected, one contractor injured subsequently developed PTSD due to the traumatic experience. Consequently, he now grapples with fear at the thought of returning to work. During the sentencing, Justice Mitch Hoffman took a moment to reflect on the magnitude of the catastrophe.

Highlighting the damage, both physical and emotional, caused by the crime, Hoffman stated that Crosby’s actions had resulted in significant psychological impact, financial loss, and seriously injured people who barely escaped with their lives. Crosby refrained from addressing the court during the hearing.

Coun. Catherine Kitts further expressed her perspective on the devastating event stating that it had a tremendous impact on the overall community, voicing her concerns specifically for those adjacent to the blast site who were injured. Crosby stood initially accused in March on several counts, including breaking and entering, criminal negligence leading to bodily harm, and causing property damage due to arson.