MI Laundry Explosion Suspect Pleads Guilty

Posted February 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm

The owner/operator of a Warren, MI, laundry accused of involvement in a gas leak that led to a fire and explosion that leveled the plant and damaged nearby homes and businesses, recently pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud, according to a news report.

As part of a plea agreement, the owner, Alexandros Yfantidis, 74, acknowledged in court that he was responsible for the destruction of Best Textile Services on May 4, 2011, as part of a plan to collect insurance money, the report said.

The plea agreement calls for Yfantidis to pay restitution to victims whose homes and property were damaged in the explosion and fire that rocked the neighborhood. A total of 49 homes and businesses were affected in the incident that caused an estimated $1 million in property damage. Several passersby received minor injuries in the blast. Fire investigators believe someone deliberately opened a two-inch gas line inside the building and left a burning candle nearby that triggered the explosion.

Yfantides faces up to 20 years in prison for making a false claim to his insurance company and for deceiving law enforcement officials about the incident. Sentencing is slated for June 5 before Judge Stephen J. Murphy III. Click on the link above for details.