Homeowner set blast that destroyed Indiana home, killing him

SPENCER, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say an explosion that leveled a rural central Indiana house last week was set by the homeowner and he died in the blast.

The State Fire Marshal’s office said Wednesday investigators determined that 84-year-old Don R. Richards set the Nov. 16 explosion. Witnesses told investigators that Richards said he was going to blow up his Owen County home due to foreclosure, and his garage contained several gas cans.

Accelerants were found in several locations inside the home and its furnace was missing a gas valve.

The explosion rocked a rural area just east of the town of Spencer some 45 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

A coroner found that Richards was killed by the blast’s shockwave and his death was ruled a suicide. Richards’ body was identified with dental records.


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