LONG BEACH : Man Injured in Explosion Is Charged With Igniting It

A Long Beach man who was injured in an explosion that rocked a north Long Beach business district Dec. 19 has been accused of setting the blast.

Terry L. Martin, 35, was charged with attempted murder and aggravated arson Thursday in Long Beach Municipal Court.

Martin was attempting to kill himself and a neighbor, Dale Aimers, 34, who lived below him in a storefront apartment building in the 5500 block of Atlantic Avenue, Deputy Dist. Atty. William E. Smith Jr. said. Aimers was slightly injured in the explosion.

Martin admitted that he disconnected his stove's natural gas supply line, allowing gas to pour into his apartment, and ignited it, said David Kean, a Long Beach arson investigator.

The blast destroyed the building where Martin and Aimers lived and damaged about 35 nearby buildings, including a four-unit apartment building next door. The damage was estimated at more than $2 million.

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