Explosion destroys Monticello home

(WLFI Photo)

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) — Three people were sleeping when an explosion blew out walls off a Monticello home early Saturday morning.

According to Monticello Fire Department Capt. Robert Hickman, firefighters were called to 606 N. Main St. around 2:10 a.m. for a reported house explosion with people inside.

When MFD arrived at the scene about six minutes later, they discovered walls had been completely blown out of the home. Hickman said the gable end on the home’s south side was completely separated from the structure. Debris was scattered in the road and yard.

Neighbor Kelly Miller said the explosion had her family in shock. Miller’s sons woke her up after they heard the explosion.

“At first I was in shock. I said ‘what did you say, the what?’ They were like the house next door just blew up mom,’” said Miller.

A gas meter was on fire. It was extinguished quickly, by shutting off the gas supply, before a search for trapped victims began, Hickman said.

Three adults were asleep inside the home when the explosion occurred. John Robinson, his wife Eva Robinson and Shawn Hayden were all able to make it out of the home before fire officials arrived.

Hayden suffered minor burns, but refused medical treatment. Hickman said Hayden was sleeping in the south side of the home, where the most damage occurred.

Officials ruled the home unlivable and structurally unsound. The White County Chapter of the American Red Cross provided the family with housing assistance.

Hickman said that there was no indication of illegal activity during the preliminary investigation.

Officials have determined a natural gas leak was the cause of the explosion, Hickman said.

“It’s a terrible tragedy for mother’s day,” said Miller. “I hope everybody just thinks about them and wishes them well.”

Hickman said his department is currently working with NIPSCO and the State Fire Marshal’s Office to determine the source of the leak.

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