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Property Owners Denied Damage Claims Related To ExxonMobil Refinery Explosion

TORRANCE ( — Over half a year after the ExxonMobil refinery explosion in Torrance, nearby property owners say their damage claims are being denied.

Among the pieces of property to sustain damage as a result of the explosion was a 1962 Ford Galaxie. The car is a prized possession owned by Torrance resident Paul Hill, who inherited the vehicle when his parents passed away.

"I really identify it with my dad, because he just loved driving this car," Hill said.

Hill says the refinery explosion sent a flurry of white particles raining down on his car while it sat outside the MGM Auto Repair and Body Shop.

The owner of the shop, Raffy Mardirossian, says he cleaned all 16 cars on the lot that day and that several vehicles sustained damage, with Hill's taking the worst of it.

"It was some kind of foamy, sticky type of things," Mardirossian said. "We didn't know what it was."

While ExxonMobil provided a voucher for the vehicle to receive a detail at a prearranged location, both Hill and Mardirossian say the car's damage looked even worse after the work. They say that ExxonMobil is now refusing to do anything more.

"It's taken way too long to settle this," Hill said. "I'm just sort of stuck; it's just been sitting here since then, waiting for them to do something. All I'd like to do is get the car's paint back in the same condition it was before."

ExxonMobil, meanwhile, responded by saying that it "continue to process all legitimate claims caused by the incident."

Another Torrance resident reported that cracks in her home became worse after the February explosion and that her claims were denied also.

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