Safe at Home?

By Leigh Dana

January 31, 2011 Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 7:30 PM EDT

Horseheads, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Almost a week after a house exploded in Horseheads, some neighbors still cannot return to their homes.

It's been a guessing game for these neighbors, waiting in the bitter cold for town officials to tell them it's okay to return to their homes.

"It's been a very slow process," said Karen Ayres. "We've been coming over here everyday checking and they don't tell us anything, but I think their making progress today."

For the most part, NYSEG has finalized its work on Joseph Street, digging up holes in front yards and reconfiguring all of the gas lines.

"What they were doing was eliminating the meter cut offs in the road and taking them closer to the house," said Horseheads Town Supervisor, Michael Edwards (R).

While people living on the right side of the street have been able to return to their homes, the families on the other side still cannot get back in.

That's because those homes were cited for code violations,

Ayres says her house needs a new furnace, "They told me when I got here that my landlord has full access to the house right now. That he can go in there and do whatever work he needs to do."

Meanwhile, when she does return, she'll be walking on pins and needles.

Ayres says code enforcement officials told her that her lawn was saturated in natural gas, "It's still scary. And it could blow up next week, who knows. Even though every thing's new and they say it's safe. But that's where I live, so I am going to go back and just be leery for awhile I guess."

Still, she hopes to be back home by the end of the week.

NYSEG did release a statement last week saying the gas line system in the area is safe.

The families that were able to return Monday must have their homes inspected in 7 days to make sure code violations are corrected.

A cause for the explosion that killed a baby and injured two others last Wednesday is still under investigation.