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Owner of food truck that exploded had been warned not to park it on driveway


The owner of the Motley Crews Heavy Metal Grill was warned not to park his food truck in residential areas prior to its explosion in Lakeville on March 6.

The truck exploded on the 16500 block of Joplin Path, causing huge damage to owner Marty Richie's home as well as blowing in windows and damaging door frames of multiple other homes on the street, which was covered in debris.

The Pioneer Press reported Wednesday Richie had been warned in 2012 by the city of Lakeville not to keep his food truck on the street. And though he removed it then, neighbors told the newspaper that it since made a return to his driveway.

According to the City Code on Lakeville's website, it says:

Commercial Vehicles In Residential Districts: No commercial vehicle or equipment shall be parked or stored in a rural or residential district except when loading, unloading, or rendering a service as allowed by subsection 11-19-7 F4 of this title.

The last section refers to vehicles owned by builders, excavators or moving trucks that need to be parked outside a residential building for an extended period of time on a temporary basis.

Richie's attorney Pat Elliott told the newspaper the city ordinance is more of a "livability issue, not about safety," and Lakeville's city administrator told the newspaper Richie is not likely to get a citation following the explosion.

Fundraiser for Richie family

GoFundMe campaign was launched to get the Richie family back on their feet following the destruction of the food truck and the damage to their home, which has so far reached almost $13,000 in donations.

The page reveals that Richie's only child, 12-year-old Samantha, was home alone at the time of the explosion, saying she was safe in her bedroom but suffered from stress and nausea in the wake of the incident.

CityPages reports that a benefit is being held for Motley Crews at 612 Brew at 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis, this coming Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a suggested donation of $10.

In the meantime, Richie is pushing on with plans to open a restaurant on Holyoke Avenue in Lakeville, with the Star Tribune reporting it is set to open by June 1.

Richie has not been able to return to his home since the explosion, which is suspected to have been caused by a leaky propane tank.

Next-door neighbor Elizabeth Kirchner and her family have also not been able to return to their home, and said she should have complained to the city about the truck being in the driveway, but told the Pioneer Press she works in the restaurant industry herself and said "I know how hard it is and how he's trying to make a living."

Either way, Richie's attorney says the city code violation won't impact insurance payouts for damage to nearby properties, telling the newspaper: "In the end, the neighbors are going to be made whole."

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