Officials turn to appliances, pipes in homes



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Contractors Chris Smoke, left, and Tyler Wallace speak with code enforcement representative Todd Suchy on Wednesday at the Richmond Hill command post at the Smock Golf Course in Indianapolis. PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON


Investigators believe natural gas caused the deadly explosion on the far southside and are now looking into whether the volatile gas had been released inside a house.

A gas leak outside the Richmond Hill homes that exploded late Saturday night has been ruled out after investigators checked lines and valves leading up to the blast site. Investigators are now trying to determine if an appliance, leak or valve inside a home was to blame for the blast that killed a Greenwood teacher and her husband and damaged dozens of homes, fire department spokeswoman Rita Burris said.

“At this time, it is not clear where exactly the source of the natural gas came from or what sparked the gas and caused it to explode,” Burris said in a statement. “(Test findings) simply offer investigators an opportunity to narrow their search by one layer.”

Investigators are focusing on the inside of the homes, Burris said. They don’t know whether a faulty appliance, valve or leak released the gas.

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