Update: Investigators trying to solve home explosion - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Update: Investigators trying to solve home explosion

Posted:

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused an explosion late Saturday night that killed an elementary school teacher and her husband in Indianapolis.

The man who owned the home says he thinks the blast was sparked by a bad furnace, but the gas company says they never received any complaints from the family. However, the gas company added a homeowner or contractor would not necessarily report when a furnace was repaired.

According to the homeowner, no one was in the home because the people living there were on a weekend vacation. 

The explosion did kill John Dion Longworth and his wife Jennifer, who lived next door. Jennifer was a second-grade teacher at an Indianapolis-area school.

After the fire was put out, over 80 homes were left damaged and as of Monday evening 29 of them are uninhabitable.

Investigators have ruled out a bomb or meth lab explosion, but they still have not determined the actual cause. There is not a clear time table as to how long it will take to determine what caused the explosion, but investigators are pretty confident they WILL be able to.

In the meantime, the families affected are left trying to get their homes and lives put back together.

"Beginning today, we've started focusing on people getting into their houses in a safe way to make sure we get their items valuables thing that they need. In addition people were able to get their insurance adjusters and agents," said Adam Collins, Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement. "We're starting to see some long term progress towards seeing improvements towards safety so these people can get in and get their things out for the repair and recovery process."

Collins estimated that over $3.6 million dollars worth of damage was caused by the explosion.

Local experts say that an explosion like this, caused by a furnace is very rare. Great Lakes Heating and Air say in a case like this the house would have to be filling with gas for days in order to explode like that and if the homeowners were home, they would have smelled it.

Experts say it is important to call your gas company immediately if you smell natural gas in your home and also call the professionals to make repairs. They also say you should have your furnace serviced every year, especially if you are planning to leave town for the winter.

"There's enough parts on a furnaces that need service, need cleaned. You don't drive your car across the country without taking it in and getting everything tuned up to make sure it is going to make it," James Olsen, Great Lakes Furnace Technician. "You don't run your furnace for an entire winter without having it checked up and maintenance before you start the winter, so you know you're not going to have any issues."

Olsen added newer furnaces have plenty of safety features, so if there is a leak, it will automatically turn off and then re-light itself, and that is when you would smell the gas.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Notre Dame gets verbal commit #7

    Notre Dame gets verbal commit #7

    The Notre Dame football team got verbal commitment #7 from Cary-Grove, IL recruit Trevor Ruhland. According to Irish Sports Daily, he tips the scale at 270 and stands 6'4". He chose the Irish over Duke, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Purdue. Ruhland is considered a 3-Star recruit by many services.More >>
    The Notre Dame football team got verbal commitment #7 from Cary-Grove, IL recruit Trevor Ruhland. According to Irish Sports Daily, he tips the scale at 270 and stands 6'4". He chose the Irish over Duke, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Purdue. Ruhland is considered a 3-Star recruit by many services.More >>
  • Restaurant fire in Granger

    Restaurant fire in Granger

    Crews are on the scene of a fire at a restaurant on the 12000 block of Indiana 23 in Granger.  Our crew on the scene says the fire is out and firefighters are checking neighboring buildings for signs of damage.  The fire broke out at the Copper Creek Cafe around 10:05am.  The fire burst through the roof of the building.More >>
    Crews are on the scene of a fire at a restaurant on the 12000 block of Indiana 23 in Granger.  Our crew on the scene says the fire is out and firefighters are checking neighboring buildings for signs of damage.  The fire broke out at the Copper Creek Cafe around 10:05am.  The fire burst through the roof of the building.More >>
  • FOX28 News Alert

    Zimmer to purchase Biomet in $13.35 billion deal

    Zimmer to purchase Biomet in $13.35 billion deal

    Zimmer is buying Biomet in a $13.35 billion deal that will merge the two Warsaw-based medical device firms. The deal is not expected to be closed until early 2015 but Zimmer is already projecting that it will save them $270 million annually by the third year after the merger is completed, and saw their stock price raise over 9% in premarket trading this morning.More >>
    Zimmer is buying Biomet in a $13.35 billion deal that will merge the two Warsaw-based medical device firms. The deal is not expected to be closed until early 2015 but Zimmer is already projecting that it will save them $270 million annually by the third year after the merger is completed, and saw their stock price raise over 9% in premarket trading this morning.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.