Tragedy leaves family rattled, hits too close to home

Ordinarily, I would not tackle a small home repair at 11 p.m. But with Saturday’s unseasonably warm temperatures, it was a good day to tidy up yard work. Inside maintenance could wait.

Upon finishing outdoor chores, which ate up most of the day, my wife and daughter and I went to the Pacers’ game. Had a nice but exhausting time. By the time we got out, our little one was spent.

By 10:15 p.m., well past her normal bedtime, she was sound asleep. My wife was tidying up downstairs in preparation for out-of-town family who were coming to stay with us on Sunday.

Seemed like an ideal time to make a minor plumbing fix upstairs that I had put off for several weeks.

Around 11 p.m., I grabbed a pair of channel locks and solved the problem. Only took a few minutes.

Delighted, I was about to set the tool down when, without warning, our entire house shook violently, in concert with a thundering boom, simultaneous terrifying sensations I had never felt before.

So violent was the percussion, I nearly fell. The upstairs floor literally shook beneath my feet, as if the house had been lifted from the foundation, shaken from side to side, then slammed back earth.

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