News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Today in History for July 29th Fish Oil Plant Blast Kills One Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Trial Begins Over OKC Bombing Video Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Two Huge Fires Burning in Northern California
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
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