View Full Version : Indianapolis home explosion now a homicide investigation



stick47
11-20-2012, 04:58 AM
Who boards a cat when they're gone for a couple of days?


Ind. home explosion now homicide investigation - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/ind-home-explosion-now-homicide-investigation-232646565.html)

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The house explosion that killed two people and destroyed several homes in an Indianapolis neighborhood is now a homicide investigation, authorities said, though no suspects have been named.
Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons made the announcement Monday evening, shortly after a funeral was held for the husband and wife who were killed. The couple lived next door to the house where investigators believe the blast occurred.
"We are turning this into a criminal homicide investigation," Coons said after meeting with local residents, marking the first time investigators have acknowledged a possible criminal element to the Nov. 10 explosion.
Search warrants have been executed and officials are now looking for a white van that was seen in the subdivision the day of the blast, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said. Federal authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information in the case.
Curry said the investigation is aimed at "determining if there are individuals who may be responsible for this explosion and fire," but neither he nor Coons took questions or indicated if investigators had any suspects. No arrests have been made.
Officials have said they believe natural gas was involved in the explosion, which destroyed five homes and left dozens damaged, some heavily. Investigators have been focusing on appliances as they search for a cause of the explosion, which caused an estimated $4.4 million in damage.
"We thought something like this was not just an accident," said Doug Aldridge, who heads the neighborhood Crime Watch.
Aldridge said he and other residents frequently saw a white van parked outside the home, though he didn't know who owned it. He said residents were angry and upset, but he expects most of them to stay in the neighborhood.
"Everyone had their suspicions," said Chris Sutton, who lives a street away from the blast site.
"It's kind of scary that someone might set off a gas explosion," he added. "It's really scary."
Hundreds of people attended the funeral earlier Monday for the couple killed in the explosion, 34-year-old John Dion Longworth and 36-year-old Jennifer Longworth.
She was a second-grade teacher remembered for knitting gifts for her students, while her husband, an electronics expert, was known as a gardener and nature lover. The school where Jennifer Longworth taught was closed Monday so teachers and students could attend the funeral.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who spoke at Monday's news conference, said he went to the Longworths' funeral and had a hard time coming to peace with what had happened.
"There is a search for truth and there is a search for justice," Ballard said.
The couple lived next door to the house where investigators are focusing.
The co-owner of that house, John Shirley, told The Associated Press he had recently received a text message from his daughter saying the furnace in the home, which she shares with her mother and her mother's boyfriend, had gone out.
Shirley's ex-wife, Monserrate Shirley, said her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, had replaced the thermostat recently and the furnace had resumed working.
She and her boyfriend were away at a casino at the time of the blast. The daughter was staying with a friend, and the family's cat was being boarded.
Monserrate Shirley's attorney, Randall Cable, declined comment Monday night.

stick47
11-20-2012, 07:19 AM
I've actually seen a house blow up right in front of me. I was coming home late one night and was turning the final corner in my neighborhood when the abandoned house on the corner suddenly exploded. It scared the absolute bejeebers out of me. Turns out, there was a teenage couple that was in there and had tried to get some heat going. Gas was still on to the property but not inside and he when he turned it one, it just filled up the crawl space and up into the walls. After trying for quite some time, eventually lit a match. They both survived by the boy was burned head to toe. She was lucky. Was blown off the bed and when the house collapsed, we was laying next to the bed so she wasn't crushed.

It was one of the craziest things I have ever seen. This explosion looks much bigger and looks like it decimated the houses. I have a fair amount of a phobia to the smell of NG.

WOW!! Om a side note, I just had a plumber out to connect the 100 lb tank to my homes fireplace pipe. I know I could have done that myself but I won't put my family at risk to save an $80 service call. Let the guy with the license do the job.

Just the facts
11-20-2012, 07:47 AM
This almost happened to us. Several years ago we turned on our gas fireplace for the winter which has a pilot light and then is controlled by a switch on the wall (like a light switch). My wife was watching TV one night while I was away on a business trip and when she turned the lights out to go to bed she said she noticed the pilot light was out, the gas valve was still open, but there was no gas flowing. So she turned the valve off. I can only assume the gas company lost pressure which caused the pilot light to go out. If she hadn't noticed that it was out and turned it off the gas would have started flowing again while she and the kids were asleep upstairs. Since then we don't leave the pilot light on or the valve open. I light it every time we want to use the fireplace and shut it all down when we turn it off for the night.

ou48A
11-20-2012, 05:33 PM
I have worked at several natural gas compressor plants that had explosions. I was present for some while I wasn’t on others. One was large enough to have melted plastic on cars mile away. Airline pilots could see the fire 200 miles away. This was a 26’’ pipeline with about 600 PSI. It shot flames straight up into the air. It set off the US (and probably the USSR’s) military’s missile launch detection systems. Fortunately this was not near a major populated area.
I have known people who were killed.
The heat from some of these fires is unbelievably intense. The heat and flames dwarf an gas well fire.

Hawk405359
12-22-2012, 08:22 AM
Authorities: 3 set deadly Ind. blast for insurance - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/authorities-3-set-deadly-ind-blast-insurance-222918721.html)

Reviving this for an update, three people have been charged. Allegedly they set the explosion to collect insurance money.

stick47
12-23-2012, 06:51 AM
This almost happened to us. Several years ago we turned on our gas fireplace for the winter which has a pilot light and then is controlled by a switch on the wall (like a light switch). My wife was watching TV one night while I was away on a business trip and when she turned the lights out to go to bed she said she noticed the pilot light was out, the gas valve was still open, but there was no gas flowing. So she turned the valve off. I can only assume the gas company lost pressure which caused the pilot light to go out. If she hadn't noticed that it was out and turned it off the gas would have started flowing again while she and the kids were asleep upstairs. Since then we don't leave the pilot light on or the valve open. I light it every time we want to use the fireplace and shut it all down when we turn it off for the night.

Depending on the age of your gas fireplace system, you may not have had any threat if the pilot light went out. Newer units have safety valves that prevent the gas valve from opening if the pilot isn't lit. https://www.nwnatural.com/Residential/Safety/SafetyTips/PilotLights Anyway, it would be advisable to have your unit upgraded if it's the old style.

Snowman
12-23-2012, 12:45 PM
This almost happened to us. Several years ago we turned on our gas fireplace for the winter which has a pilot light and then is controlled by a switch on the wall (like a light switch). My wife was watching TV one night while I was away on a business trip and when she turned the lights out to go to bed she said she noticed the pilot light was out, the gas valve was still open, but there was no gas flowing. So she turned the valve off. I can only assume the gas company lost pressure which caused the pilot light to go out. If she hadn't noticed that it was out and turned it off the gas would have started flowing again while she and the kids were asleep upstairs. Since then we don't leave the pilot light on or the valve open. I light it every time we want to use the fireplace and shut it all down when we turn it off for the night.

This happening to you is less likely than you probably suspected, gas air mixtures have a narrow mixture where they will explode, the article notes authorities suspect they had tried to do this earlier but failed.

It took like a couple months of people telling my sister she needed to have the gas lines at her house checked to convince her to do so, I guess she had just gotten use to the oder they put in gas because everyone visiting would notice it at the front door.