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Spring clean-up for summer blow-up

A crew from Spomer Construction works to remove debris at the site of a June 2011 home explosion late last week. To the frustration of the homeowners, clean-up had been delayed for months while the Imsands’ insurance company processed the claim. A crew from Spomer Construction works to remove debris at the site of a June 2011 home explosion late last week. To the frustration of the homeowners, clean-up had been delayed for months while the Imsands’ insurance company processed the claim. Tribune photo by CJ Baker

A clean-up of the remains of a of home that exploded last summer is finally under way after more than half a year of uncertainty and frustration for the homeowner.

Allstate Insurance paid some of Mark Imsand’s claim for his destroyed Willwood area home in January, according to Imsand, and after some delays due to frost, he finalized a contract with Spomer Construction last week to clean up the rubble.

Carl Spomer, the company’s owner, said he planned to wrap up the clean-up this week.

“It’ll be a lot nicer when we’re finished,” he said in an interview at the site, at the corner of Llama Drive and Riverside Avenue south of Powell. Spomer added that several neighbors had stopped by to express appreciation that work was beginning.

Imsand is still fighting Allstate (he believes the company paid him far too little), but “at least it (the house) is getting taken care of now,” he said in a Wednesday interview.

The removal of the home’s remains — from old appliances to pieces of wall, roofing, windows and foundation — will bring something of an end to an incident that began with a bang on June 26, 2011.

Mark and Jean Imsand’s two-story home was obliterated in a massive explosion that Sunday night — one that could be felt and heard more than a mile away.

No one was in the home at the time, as the Imsands had left that morning to take their adult son to Florida.

The Powell Volunteer Fire Department, in conjunction with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, was unable to determine a cause. Powell Fire Chief Joey Darrah has said that because of the scope of the explosion, it’s unlikely a cause could ever be determined.

Imsand has heard it was related to some kind of gas leak.

Allstate took six months before paying the claim on the Imsands’ home and possessions — and Mark Imsand said it was substantially less than what his agent had told him he’d receive. The home payment reflected a roughly 30 percent depreciation on its value, and the couple won’t receive the full value of their lost possessions until replacements are purchased, Imsand said of his understanding.

“I’m still dealing with them,” he said. “It’s not over, by any means.”

He’s hired a Cody attorney to help him.

An Allstate representative previously told the Tribune the company can’t comment on specific claims.

Jean Imsand is disabled, and Mark said Allstate did cover the costs of her necessary equipment — calling that “the one high point on the whole thing.”

The insurance company also paid for a year’s worth of rent for the couple, who are now living in Mobile, Ala., in a home owned by Mark Imsand’s brother.

“We’re not homeless by any means or hungry or anything like that, but we’re also not being treated right by the insurance company as far as the house goes,” he said.

Ultimately, Imsand said he hopes to sell the lot on Llama Drive and buy a home in Alabama. The couple has been trying to get a fresh start.

“Just hope you never have the same problem,” Imsand said, adding that he has “a whole different perspective on people that lose their homes and have to deal with insurance companies.”

“People will say, ‘I know how you feel,’ but until they’ve come through it, they don’t know how you feel,” he said.

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