Apartment tenants have concerns after explosion

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A cause for an explosion that heavily damaged an apartment building on May 15 has been determined.

Late Tuesday afternoon Indianapolis fire investigators said it was accidental, but that’s little comfort to the people who live in the complex.

Construction crews have put a fence up around the damaged building to keep people out. People who live here said since the explosion, they’ve been worried it could happen again.

“I was in the kitchen getting ready to cook dinner; I always keep my blinds where I can see outside and I saw the apartment when it blew up,” said Michelle Hayes of Indianapolis.

Two weeks after the explosion destroyed the apartment building, people who live at Pangea Apartments are just now learning how it all happened.

“I was really nervous because all I knew at the time was that the explosion had happened in the front. Which I live in the very front,” said Jessica Phillippe of Indianapolis.

IFD blamed it on an unintentional, accidental opening of a gas line, but that’s all they would say. That left residents wondering what line was open and how it got that way.

“It’s a little concerning having a 9 month old baby,” Phillippe said.

Days after the explosion, Hayes said she contacted management to get answers. She wanted to know if a blast could happen again.

Hayes said management responded with two notices.

“This is your notice that on 5/22/14 and 5/23/14 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. landlord or landlords agent or construction crew member will enter your unit,” Hayes said.

The notice never mentioned why they were visiting.

24-Hour News 8 contacted apartment management to find out, but didn’t get a response.

But in another notice Hayes received the letter mentions in light of the explosion there may be some uncertainty and anxiety with residents.

“It says we understand your concerns and do indeed value you as a tenant,” she said.

Alfredo Mercado was injured running to help after the blast. He said he just wants to know if his apartment is safe for him and his family.

“We are kind of uncertain right now, because now we find out it was gas. So it’s like, what is our future going to be like here,” Mercado said.

To ease the fears of people who live here, we’ve learned that Citizens Gas workers will be at the apartment complex tomorrow to check the gas lines in the units to make sure people are safe.

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