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Businesses Still Struggle Months After Downtown Explosion | Business

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Businesses Still Struggle Months After Downtown Explosion
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LAS VEGAS -- Much of Main Street in Downtown Las Vegas' Art District is still shuttered after an explosion damaged several stores. So far, neither NV Energy or Southwest Gas claim responsibility for the transformer explosion.

NV Energy says while they are not accepting responsibility, they will pay the business owner's insurance claims. But until the businesses get their first checks, the signs tell a story of frustration on Main Street.

Rebuilding work is underway at Latinos Auto Services. Main Street surveillance video shows the shock waves from a power transformer explosion July 11, 2010. It forced some businesses to close.

The Attic clothing store had to move across the street after their original building was heavily damaged.

"I'm displaced. Everything is not where its supposed to be. Everything is upside down. Everything is a struggle. Everything is a fight with the insurance company -- a fight with Nevada Power. It's just very difficult," said owner Mayra Politis.

NV Energy says their independent investigators determined the explosion was not their fault. Tuesday, they released a statement saying that while they don't accept responsibility, they will pay for verify able insurance claims.

Diana Warby owns a former drapery store building wiped out by the explosion.

"It's the first time in seven months after reading that statement is that there's a little bit of empathy coming from a utility company," she said.

NV Energy says they will recover their costs from the responsible party, but the question remains, who is to blame? Southwest Gas says they hired an independent investigator to determine who is responsible. They won't say who the investigator is or give any timeline.

"I know that it wasn't an act of God. There was a reason. I hope, some day soon, that will come to light," said Warby.

But for The Attic, the help may not be enough. Politis says inspectors recommend their original building be torn down. In their smaller, temporary location, they laid off half their staff and still likely won't have enough money to construct a new building.

The shockwave from the Main Street explosion may be felt for years to come.

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