Durham residents affected by April explosion frustrated with lack of insurance assistance

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Dominion Energy set up a claims center in the days after a gas explosion killed two people in downtown Durham, but nearly four months later many say they still haven’t received any money.

April 10, 2019, is a day that Matt Sexton says he will never forget.

“It’s just kind of really shocking to just see your home like that on the news with the kind of destruction that had occurred,” said Matt Sexton.

Sexton and his wife lived just across the street from Kaffeinate at West Village Apartments, and his home was devastated by the blast.

“Our windows were blown in from the explosion, frames and everything,” said Sexton. “The firemen had to knock in our door.”

Like many of his neighbors, Sexton reached out to Dominion Energy’s claims operation center.

“I’ve confirmed several times that they have all of my information,” said Sexton. “The people I’ve talked to say they have no idea when this will be resolved at all.”

CBS17 reached out to Dominion Energy in an effort to get answers, and a spokeswoman provided us with this statement:

“Dominion Energy is not responsible for claims filed through individual insurers or the disbursement of insurer funds. We encourage affected residents and local business owners to communicate with their insurer. Dominion Energy set up a claims operations center following the explosion to provide meals and lodging to those displaced and helped fund local relief efforts in solidarity with the community. Affected residents and business owners could voluntarily self-report damages through the company’s incident response line in order for Dominion Energy to have record of claims to be filed related to the explosion. The cause of the incident has not been determined. We continue cooperating with all interested parties and the N.C. Utilities Commission.”

Dominion Energy spokesperson

“This is going to be covered by someone down the line,” said Sexton. “I was just hoping they would help me out.”

As investigators continue working to determine the cause of the blast Dominion Energy is encouraging people to reach out to their own insurers.

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