Sabotage in Riverside

Here’s a poser, sent in by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous:

HI Chris,

Last night at 11  pm the yellow excavator working to break up the rock under 86 Lockwood (the former little red house) BLEW UP.  Huge noise, lots of flames, many firetrucks, no one hurt.   The authorities commenced to reflect on who would have an interest in wrecking the excavator.   The builder, who appeared promptly, indicated he had no idea.

Puzzling- do we have eco-terrorists in Riverside?

As an aside, but while we’re in the neighborhood, I went down Hearthstone Drive yesterday and counted four, perhaps five houses in various stages of demolition. Can there really be that much demand for $3.4 million houses in this tiny section of Riverside? Guess we’ll see (86 Lockwood is a bespoke house, so it seems unlikely that one of the Hearthstone builders is trying to knock off a competitor – more likely, it was an act of vandalism committed by one of those Belle Haven/Brunswick kids wearing a Che T shirt. Or maybe a Choatie?).

UPDATE: Greenwich Time catches up with the story. Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Zack promises an investigation but he’s not off to a good start, judging from this:

“Zack said he had no information on whom the excavator belonged to or what it was doing there last night.”

I’m sure fire investigation is a complex task, with many clues to be unraveled, but if I saw an excavator perched by a foundation hole of a house under construction I’d at least entertain the notion that “what it was doing there” was connected to that work. As for who owned the machinery, Zack might have simply asked the contractor, who was right there beside him. GCs usually know the names of their subs.


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27 responses to “Sabotage in Riverside

  1. Anonymous

    I’m down at the end of Druid and my house shook last night from the explosion. We were all outside trying to figure out what happened. Thanks to you, now I know!

  2. Cos Cobber

    It’s probably something less exciting like mechanical failure, sabotage from a bitter former employee or insurance fraud.

    • There’s a lovely couple across the street who were recently complaining about the noise of the construction – the builder addressed that problem immediately but hey, lingering resentment? Dave, are you a Brunswick grad by any chance?

  3. Anonymous

    I was wondering what that was.
    Literally shook the wall of my house on Riverside Avenue.
    Wife claimed she heard nothing, asked me what I was screaming about.

  4. Mr H

    I assume when you say “lovely couple”, you are really referring to my wife – hands off buddy (walt did warn me)!!! We actually thought about waking you up to come cook smores and sip civet coffee while we watched them put the fire out last night. Since you asked, I’m just a simple midwestern boy with no brunswick connection…and yes, your friend, the builder, was extremely gracious in delaying the loud drilling by an hour the day after we made the request so we are genuinely sorry to see this happen to him.

  5. Pot Calling Kettle

    The Belle Haven kids wouldn’t dirty there shoes by walking around Riverside.

    • Belle Haven kids don’t walk – they employ howdahs (they also learn to spell “their” at Brunswick, or there theyr their stand-ins do).

    • AJ

      I used to do a lot of skiing with Belle Haven kids — lots of them went to GHS and most of them were quite normal. As for dirtying their shoes in Riverside, many of them dirtied their shoes in the even more lowly OG. You must be from somewhere else because you have a very strange view of the town and its inhabitants, Pot. A good many of them are just poor, albeit well paid, working stiffs who get up at five or six every morning and take the train into work.

      Here’s a link to a Che t-shirt that I’m sure your readers might prefer:

  6. pulled up in OG

    “The fire is being actively investigated because of the intensity of the fire,” Zack said.

    What if it wasn’t so intense?

    And good luck parking anything on Lockwood 200’ clear of a neighbor. : )

  7. AndyD

    Remember there was a small arson fire at midnight at a Winthrop house under construction several months ago? Then a few weeks after that the police found yet another small fire at same house. Winthrop is only a stones throw from this explosion.

    Sounds like a local teenager to me.

    • “Suspicious”, eh? Nothing escapes our police. But given the dates of these arsons: August, now New Year’s break, sleep-away Choate’s looking more likely than Brunswick. All kidding aside, it does appear that there’s a firebug loose in Riverside. The last one we had was a Chimblo (Cos Cob resident, actually – he commuted), who burned down the Riverside train station and a number of garages before getting caught. If this nut case escalates his behavior then we’re in trouble, maybe.
      UPDATE: Thinking about it, the person’s targeting of new construction may indicate that he really is a wannabe eco-terrorist, fired up (so to speak) by the example of the real ones. I blame Bush.

  8. anonymous

    If you can’t get a girl, get a dog. If you can’t get a dog, get a Choate. Trust me a Choatie didn’t do this.

    • Beyond their skill set, eh?

      • AJ

        I thought Choate was good for guaranteed admission to Yale; that is for anyone who would actually want to go to school in the center of the Universe, New Haven.

        • Pinzgsuer

          I don’t know the machine in question, but they typically run on diesel. As cold as it is at night you’ll have a problem just getting it started , never mind explode on its own.
          It would take some primary to get cold diesel to explode.
          Just my 2 ¢.

        • Anon

          Best thing that ever happened to my kid was he was rejected by Choate. He spent four happy years at Westminster AND went on to Yale to become a minister.

  9. Riverside Chick

    HS kids are partying in new construction sites. Just heard about an incident last weekend in OG by the beach. Accident waiting to happen.

    • I suspect kids have been playing in construction sites since Nancy Pelosi’s first ancestor picked up a hammer and drove a nail into the skull of an enemy, but deliberately torching a $150,000 machine goes far beyond messing around with saw horses. Union vandals or fire bug, this is something serious.

  10. Riverside Chick

    It’s more than just playing around in construction sites. These kids were sh:t faced drunk and stoned. One cig butt or joint thrown around some paint thinner and they go up in smoke. My first thought when I heard about fires on Winthrop was a pyro kid- I know of one on one of those ritzy streets off Indian Head. Yes there are some around.

  11. NY Tax Refugee

    The blast scared the crap out of us over on Owenoke last night. Sirens were so long after the house-rattling boom I wasn’t sure they were related. Thanks for keeping us posted, Chris.