Investigators trying to determine cause of explosion - News, Weather & Sports

Investigators trying to determine cause of Indianapolis explosion

Dion and Jennifer Longworth Dion and Jennifer Longworth
A photo of the fire. A photo of the fire.
Investigators sifting though remains after the fire. Investigators sifting though remains after the fire.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Leaders in Indianapolis said they are still not sure what triggered a deadly home explosion that turned a neighborhood into a scene that looks like a war zone.

Monday, some people started pointing to the furnace as a culprit.

Some 80 homes were rocked by the explosion, 31 had major damage in the Richmond Hill subdivision. Burned out houses and debris lined the streets with damage estimates topping $3.6 million.

A couple who moved to the area from Kentucky are the two neighbors believed to be killed by the blast. Dion Longworth graduated from Henderson County High, his wife, Jennifer is an elementary school teacher.

Former Louisville Metro Police Department Chief of Staff Troy Riggs is the Public Safety Director in Indianapolis. "I've been to many explosions, accidents and things, but I've not seen anything with this type of destruction that happened so quickly," Riggs said.

What caused the massive explosion still has detectives, arson investigators, and ATF agents scratching there heads.

They are looking into claims from the home's owner that a faulty furnace could be responsible.

"For a furnace to be able to explode like that," said Shawn Carroll a service specialist with Bryant Heating and Cooling, "I've never seen anything like that in 25 years."

Experts in heating and cooling like Carroll said it would be hard to believe a modern day furnace with so many safety features could cause that kind of explosion.

"Something would really have to go wrong, like somebody working on it, who wasn't qualified," Carroll said.

Carroll said it's hard to imagine a furnace causing that kind of damage, "That's amazing to me because that would be a lot of gas and a lot of raw gas build up into an air tight basement or something," he told us, "and it would have to build up for a long time with some sort of ignition source."

The home owner told reporters his daughter told him there were problems with the furnace.

He said his ex-wife lived in the home which had previously been in foreclosure.  He said reportedly that  his ex-wife may have tried to get a quick fix for the furnace.

Heating and cooling experts say there's no reason to be afraid of your furnace.

They tell us, always get a yearly check up on heating units by a licensed contractor and make sure you know where the gas shut off valves are.

The cause of the Indianapolis blast is still unknown.

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