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Homeowners Suing LIPA, National Grid Over Breezy Point Fire

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TWC News: Homeowners Suing LIPA, National Grid Over Breezy Point Fire
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A group of Queens residents is suing the Long Island Power Authority and National Grid, saying the companies are responsible for the massive electrical fires that devastated their neighborhoods during Hurricane Sandy.

In the suit, residents say the utilities should have turned off electricity in Rockaway Beach and Breezy Point before the storm hit.

To make their case, their lawyers released new video and pictures of the devastation.

Lawyers say the fires started when seawater came in contact with the electrical systems.

One hundred and fifty homes were destroyed.

"When you're dealing with electricity, you have to take the safest options available," said lawyer Keith Sullivan. "National Grid and LIPA chose to leave these folks in a very vulnerable position."

"They got notified to turn the electricity off and didn't do it," said Hannah Sweeny, a homeowner. "That's definitely neglect."

"We just want to be compensated for what we lost," said Billy Heeran, a business owner. "We lost a lot there. The property, the business alone, we lost a lot. It's been in this neighborhood for 33 years, and we just want to get back up and going and be back in business again."

The total damage from the fires is estimated at more than $80 million.

Both LIPA and National grid released statements saying the actions they took during the storm were reasonable and appropriate, and they do not believe the claims have merit.

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