Greenwood school closed for south side explosion victims - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Greenwood school closed for south side explosion victims

Posted: Updated:
A memorial sits at the entrance to the Richmond Hill neighborhood. A memorial sits at the entrance to the Richmond Hill neighborhood.
Police continue to monitor the entrance to the subdivision. Police continue to monitor the entrance to the subdivision.
The investigation into what caused last weekend's explosion is ongoing. The investigation into what caused last weekend's explosion is ongoing.
INDIANAPOLIS -

More than a week later, there is still no official cause of what sparked the deadly south side explosion.  Neighbors are still asking questions and waiting to get back into their homes.

Today is the deadline code enforcement teams and city officials set to have homes shored up enough to either allow homeowners to retrieve what belongings they could, or to begin demolition of homes determined unlive-able.

Also today, Greenwood's Southwest Elementary school is closed to allow students and staff the chance to attend the funeral of Jennifer and Dion Longworth.  Jennifer taught second grade at the school.

The explosion late last Saturday killed the couple and destroyed homes in the Richmond Hill neighborhood. The subdivision remains an active scene.

"Unfortunately, we see all these network shows where everything gets solved in an hour and that's just not the case here. It's too much for them to process for them to try to rush to a conclusion," said IFD Capt. Rita Burris.

Access remains limited to investigators and residents with credentials. What has changed is the overnight appearance of a memorial just outside the entrance.

There had been hopes to wrap up the onsite investigation by this weekend, but as video from Chopper 13 HD shows, the blast left an aftermath so massive - affecting 86 homes and destroying five - searching for a cause is tedious.

"It's a very large search area and certainly they have brought in extra help, they've brought in heavy equipment at any given time you will see 30 investigators canvassing the area," Burris said.

Investigators have been on site 24/7 since the explosion occurred, but on Sunday morning they caught a little bit of a break before having to go back to work.

"At this point, their families haven't seen them for a week and they are exhausted and we want to make sure that we don't get any investigators injured because they are too tired," Burris said.

As the investigation moves forward, so does the massive relief effort for the families devastated by the blast.

"We take it day by day, but we're looking at a long-term project here," said Fenton Strickland at Southport Presbyterian Church.

The church continues to be home base for residents to pick up food and supplies, all donated by the community as well as meet with government agencies and insurance companies, a process that can be overwhelming.

"Just a little unnerving. Dealing with it," said resident Robert Stevenson.

The church will continue to serve as a haven to those who need it as the recovery process could take more than a year, though life as they knew it will never be the same.

You can donate money to the victims of the explosion. Southport Presbyterian Church has set up a website to show how to donate online or volunteer.

Money can also be donated at an BMO Harris bank branch.

Longworth memorial

People lined up at a Greenwood funeral home Sunday to remember the couple killed in the explosion.

Dion and Jennifer Longworth lived in the house next door to the explosion. Their home was also leveled in the blast.

The couple's funeral is set for 10 a.m. Monday at St. Barnabas Catholic Church on the south side of Indianapolis.

Powered by WorldNow