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Home owner says furnace could be involved in Indianapolis blast

November 12, 2012|By Michael Muskal

The owner of one of the buildings destroyed in a weekend explosion that killed two people and rocked a section of Indianapolis indicated that a furnace could be at fault, it was reported Monday.

John Shirley, 50, of Noblesville, Ind., 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. Shirley co-owns the house with his ex-wife.

Shirley, who could not be independently reached, also told the news service that his daughter said the furnace had been fixed. He said he hadn’t heard from his daughter until Sunday morning, after the explosion hours earlier.

“I get a text from my daughter saying, 'Dad, our home is gone.' Then I called my ex-wife and she said what happened,” Shirley said.

Local and federal investigators are still studying the Saturday night blast, trying to determine the cause. The explosion forced about 200 people from their homes and shook buildings more than three miles away, officials said.

A spokeswoman for Citizens Energy gas company said the utility didn’t receive any reports about a faulty furnace at the home. But spokeswoman Sarah Holsapple said that the homeowner wouldn’t necessarily report such a problem to the gas company.

“It's too early to speculate that this might have been caused by a gas leak,” Holsapple said at an afternoon news briefing.  


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