Marty Richie, the Lakeville resident whose food truck exploded in his driveway last month, was asked to remove the Motley Crews Heavy Metal Grill truck from the neighborhood in 2012 after a complaint to officials that it violated city code.
An anonymous September 2012 e-mail from a resident led Lakeville officials to discover that Richie was in violation of an ordinance that prohibits parking commercial vehicles at residences.
E-mails obtained through a records request also show that Richie and Lakeville officials corresponded between October and November 2012 as he arranged to park the truck at a nearby storage facility. City Administrator Justin Miller said Wednesday that Richie was not cited, because a subsequent inspection found that he had complied with the code.
Yet the truck was again in Richie’s driveway in the 16500 block of Joplin Path late on March 6 when an explosion that could be heard for miles sent debris throughout the neighborhood, damaging several homes.
Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer said that the investigation of the blast’s cause is ongoing and that fire officials, insurance representatives and private investigators would resume inspecting the scene on April 8.
On the Monday after the blast, an e-mail written to the city by a neighbor said the family had to find temporary housing because their home needed repairs. The Richies, whose house bore the brunt of the damage, are also living elsewhere.
In the e-mail, the neighbor said the truck had been parked at the Richies’ home over the past three years, sometimes for months without leaving the driveway during the winter.
Pat Elliott, Richie’s attorney, said he was unaware of where Richie stored the vehicle. He added that the city code was similar to that of surrounding municipalities, calling it an aesthetic ordinance as much as anything else. “If a neighbor complains, the city will certainly respond to it,” Elliott said. “But for the most part, public safety officers are not driving around looking for that if it’s not identified as a safety risk.”
On Tuesday, Miller said the city did not receive additional complaints about Richie’s truck after 2012. He said Richie will not be cited for any code violations related to the explosion.