NFD Report: Summer House Property Posed "Imminent Danger"

David Creed •

Summer House Graphic

The Nantucket Fire Department’s inspection report following its walkthrough of The Summer House property, which resulted in the business being forced to close until further notice by the town, was received by the Current through a FOIA request Wednesday morning. The document revealed several violations that led the inspector, Fire Prevention Officer Kevin Ramos, to conclude that the property was in “imminent danger.”

According to the report, Ramos met with health, plumbing, electrical, and building officials on June 14 to investigate a complaint for unsafe gas piping at The Summer House. Ramos was given permission to walk around the buildings and inspect the gas tanks by property owner Danielle deBenedictis, the report adds.

At 10 Cottage Avenue, Ramos reported that two 100-pound propane tanks were found unconnected from the wall but still had copper lines coming off of them. The tank was at 80 percent on the gauges and the tanks were about three feet away from the roadway with no vehicle barriers.

At an 8 Cottage Avenue property, there was a 57-gallon propane tank connected to two outdoor hot water heaters, with one of these water heaters made for indoor use only.

“Plumbing Inspector Doug Bennett informed me that none of the water heaters on the property were inspected or permitted,” Ramos said in the report.

Gas lines also had an improper type of insulation and in plain sight, there were gas lines with a ball valve with no caps on them. Ramos said they could have been easily hit by a landscaper or patron on the property.

At 1 Magnolia Avenue, which is the main building on the Summer House property where the restaurant is located, Ramos says that the restaurant had an illegal water heater as well as open gas pipes in the building with no caps on them.

“At the time I did my inspection the tanks were off position. At this time I put a lockout tag out on those three tanks,” Ramos wrote. “They cannot be turned on to prevent an active gas leak. I did a full inspection of the property. I believe imminent danger was a priority on this property.”

Yates Gas was then contacted to go to the property the following morning to have all of the propane tanks removed from the 1 Magnolia property as well as the tanks located at 8, 10, 16 Ocean Avenue, known as the pool bar. It is unclear who performed the unlicensed work, but it was not anyone affiliated with Yates Gas.

“There were three 120-pound tanks behind the pool house that will be removed within two weeks,” Ramos said. “There will be no gas permits for any propane tanks until the plumbing and gas inspector, as well as the wiring inspector have deemed all appliances safe and inspected with the proper test. The property owner has been advised that she’s only allowed to have no more than 42 pounds of propane on a property to the Mass code.”

The Current has also submitted a FOIA request to the Nantucket Health Department for their inspection report on the Summer House, but are still waiting to receive it.

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