Repairs, cleanup still in progress nearly one month after Jeffersonville home explosion

Homes damaged in Jeffersonville explosion to be evaluated on a case by case basis
Police said the natural gas that caused the explosion entered the home 12 hours before until an unknown source ignited it.
Police said the natural gas that caused the explosion entered the home 12 hours before until an unknown source ignited it. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

JEFFERSONVILLE, In. (WAVE) - Police and fire officials in Jeffersonville are continuing their investigation into what caused a home to explode from natural gas in May.

Now nearly one month later, residents in the neighborhood are still working to get back to normal.

“You know, never would dream that would happen,” David White, a neighbor who lives a few houses away from the home that exploded, said.

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The home that used to sit at 904 Assembly Road is still in pieces. Inside, William Phillips was killed and his wife Janet, seriously injured. Jeffersonville Police said she’s improving but still in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“I was just so sorry for the family and all,” White said.

Living a few homes away, he said he would sometimes talk to Phillips when he was outside working.

David White lives on Assembly Road and his home suffered some damage, but he was able to stay inside.
David White lives on Assembly Road and his home suffered some damage, but he was able to stay inside. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“And he was doing a lot of work to that house, I think he just put a new roof on it,” White said.

Nearly one month after the explosion, debris still lies in the area. Neighbors planning to stay in the area are starting to look at how to repair their homes.

“Yeah, I’ve got mainly window damage and inside, I got sheet rock damage in the ceiling, in my living room and the two bedrooms in the back,” White said.

He’s one of the few residents with home damage still on the block.

The possibility that severely damaged homes may be inhabited again will be evaluated on a case by a case basis.
The possibility that severely damaged homes may be inhabited again will be evaluated on a case by a case basis. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“Oh, I was blessed, I really was. I was the only one in this eight or nine houses where I’ve been able to stay in my house,” White said.

Jeffersonville building commissioner Larry Wallace said many homes nearby had window damage, seven had severe damage and one was condemned. The condemned home will need to come down unless an engineer’s report can convince Wallace they can safely rebuild. The possibility that severely damaged homes may be inhabited again will be evaluated on a case by a case basis, Wallace said.

White said he's lucky, his damage isn't so severe.

“The engineer checked it Tuesday and they said it was structurally sound," he said.

Neighbors planning to stay in the Assembly Road area are starting to look at how to repair their homes.
Neighbors planning to stay in the Assembly Road area are starting to look at how to repair their homes. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

White is working to get his gas turned back on, which is something he’s a little wary of.

Police said the natural gas that caused the explosion entered the home 12 hours before until an unknown source ignited it. They’re still investigating but said there’s no indication of foul play or criminal intent.

As cleanup and repairs continue, many in the neighborhood just hope for answers.

Vectren Energy released this statement regarding the explosion:

“The investigation is continuing, but gas piping past the meter and inside the home belongs to the customer and Vectren does not have information about why gas usage inside the home was elevated prior to the explosion. All homes eligible for reconnection have been restored. Thirteen customers remain without natural gas.”
Vectren Energy

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