Family facing unknown after being evacuated

Far-southside residents Jason and Stephanie Gifford had a cardboard box filled with breakfast cereal, dog chow, children’s clothes, and a toy monster truck, all donated.

They don’t know if they have any other belongings to call their own.

A late-night explosion blew the windows and back door out of their home in the Richmond Hill neighborhood near Stop 11 Road and Sherman Drive. They haven’t been able to return since.

The Giffords and their two sons, who are 3 and 5, are staying with friends. They don’t know how much damage the explosion did to their home and possessions, or what they have left.

“The family’s OK, and that’s what matters,” Jason Gifford said.

Stephanie Gifford said she was grateful just to hold her son’s hand as they went to sleep last night. They don’t know how to explain what happened because they don’t know if and when they can go back.

She said it was a surreal, day-to-day situation.

Indianapolis code enforcement officials determined their house was unsafe to enter but hadn’t gone inside to check for structural damage, Jason Gifford said. They were told they might get a call as soon as Sunday night.

They fretted all Saturday night and most of the day Sunday about whether the damage could be repaired and if they lost value in their home.

They hoped they could move back into their home but were just grateful to be alive.

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