A New Bedford man is accused of breaking into a house to steal copper piping and setting off an explosion.
The house at 232 Richmond St. exploded at about 3:45 a.m. Monday. Investigators said there was heavy damage and that the house was knocked off its foundation.
Police arrested Kevin Livramento, 46, and charged him with breaking and entering, theft, and malicious destruction of property. Police said he lives directly behind the house that exploded.
Livramento was initially taken to St. Luke's Hospital for treatment of facial injuries. He was transferred to Brigham and Women's for observation.
Police said Livramento broke into the home and started removing copper piping, but he cut into a steel pipe that fed natural gas to the water heater. The gas built up and ignited.
"I was shocked. I was very shocked," said Kristin Correia.
The home belonged to her grandfather, who passed away a few weeks ago. No one was living at the house at the time of the explosion.
"It's a just a shame -- it really is -- that somebody could do something like this. I'm just glad that there was nobody inside. It's hard enough losing my grandfather. For somebody to come in and do this to his house, it's awful," Correia said.
Police said they think Livramento acted alone.