Debris from a house explosion near Lowell Monday evening can be seen across the street from where the house once stood along State Road 2, just west of Interstate 65. [Photo/Karl Berner for the Region News Team]
One man is dead, found in the basement of a home that exploded Monday night on State Road 2 just west of I-65 near Lowell. Another home caught fire. Lake County Sheriff John Buncich says debris was scattered over one-hundred yards in all directions, and officials this morning said they believed the situation to be consistent with a propane explosion, though the investigation continues.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich addressing reporters at the scene this morning. [Photo/Karl Berner for the Region News Team]
Buncich says the ongoing investigation has revealed a next-door neighbor went to check on the home after smelling smoke and seeing flames in the back area of the home shortly after 7pm. Upon arrival, police found the house destroyed and one engulfed in flames. Several fire agencies, including many from south Lake County, responded. Two firefighters were reportedly injured in the blaze. Lowell Fire Chief Clint Gorball believes the explosion was not suspicious in nature and confirmed the home's heating system was run on propane gas. According to Buncich, the Indiana State Fire Marshals Office has been on scene for several hours, and their preliminary findings are consistent with a propane tank leak, followed by an explosion. The identity of the neighbor has not yet been released.