News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Local & Bistate

November 12, 2012

UPDATE: Owner: Furnace may be behind deadly Indy blast

INDIANAPOLIS — The owner of a house that exploded in Indianapolis, killing two people and damaging dozens of homes so severely officials say they must be demolished, said today that a problem furnace could be at fault.

John Shirley, 50, of Noblesville, told The Associated Press that his daughter sent him a text message last week complaining that the furnace in the home where she lives with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend had gone out and required them to stay at a hotel.

But Shirley also said when he asked if the furnace had been fixed, his daughter said yes, and he wasn’t aware of any additional problems until he heard from his daughter again Sunday morning.

“I get a text from my daughter saying ‘Dad, our home is gone. Then I called my ex-wife and she said what happened,” he said.

His ex-wife, Monserrate Shirley, declined to comment today.

Investigators said they have not determined a cause for the Saturday night blast that sparked a massive fire, blew out windows, collapsed ceilings and shook homes up to three miles away. Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said the search for answers could take some time.

Utility workers have been inspecting gas mains in the neighborhood but so far have detected no leaks, a spokesman said.

The blast forced about 200 people out of their homes in the once-tidy neighborhood of one- and two-story single-family houses.

Some were allowed to return Sunday, and others were able to retrieve a few belongings. But those whose homes suffered the most damage will never be allowed back inside, officials said. They have estimated about 30 homes will need to be demolished.

Indianapolis code enforcement officials met today with homeowners at a nearby church to discuss insurance and demolition procedures and to make arrangements to take some to their homes for an hour to collect more belongings later in the day.

The blast flattened the house Shirley co-owns with his ex-wife and one next door that belongs to second-grade teacher Jennifer Longworth and her husband, John. The coroner’s office has not yet identified the two people killed in the blast, but a candlelight vigil was staged Sunday night at the school where Jennifer Longworth teaches.

Indiana real estate records show Shirley’s house had been for sale for a year until it was taken off the market in March.

Associated Press writer Charles Wilson in Indianapolis and researchers Lynn Dombek and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity