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McComsey pleads guilty to reduced charge in deadly house explosion

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Albany/HV: McComsey pleads guilty to reduced charge in deadly house explosion
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The man charged in the deaths of six people killed in a house explosion last year in Washington County accepts a plea deal in the case. Our Brooke Selby has the story.

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. -- It was a day Washington County may never forget. On July 13, 2011, six lives were taken in an explosion that burned a home to the ground on Route 29 in Salem

Washington County District Attorney Kevin C. Kortright said, "It was a terrible, terrible day in Washington County."

Steven McComsey, 34, was accused of dumping propane gas into the basement of the home where he lived, creating a massive blast authorities say killed the six. McComsey was charged with manslaughter, but Thursday, he made a plea deal in Washington County Court.

Kortright said, “He entered a plea to the reduce county of one of the manslaughter counts, criminally negligent homicide, and he will be sentenced on December 13, 2012.”

McComsey and four others who were in the home at the time survived the horrific explosion.

Kortright said, “None of the scene was left. If you remember the scene, there wasn't a cement block. It was a two story cement block house and there wasn't a block above ground levels there."

Authorities can't say that he had evil intentions of killing everybody, but think he did something extremely stupid that resulted in six deaths.

According to Kortright, "Anybody who was a witness died in the explosion, so it was a hard case to prosecute and hopefully some closure for the families of six people that should be alive today."

While McComsey's plea brings some closure for the victim's families, authorities in Washington County also said it's a time to remember the hard work of the first responders.

"The firemen on this case went from the Slocam triple homicide directly over to six more bodies,” said Kortright.

Their hard work and dedication to the North Country needs to be remembered.

Kortright said, "There were nine people that died in Washington County that day and all the folks responding to that are absolutely amazing.”

McComsey's plea will result in a prison sentence of one to three years.

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