Highland, IN – Natural gas appears to have played a part in a fiery explosion that destroyed a Highland home Saturday night, based on a preliminary investigation.
Highland Fire Department spokesman Ken Mika said the explosion appears to have happened in the basement at 2375 Norman St. at about 8:30 p.m., based on the condition of the home’s foundation walls.
The department conducted a preliminary investigation with the Indiana State Fire Marshal and NIPSCO. Mika said Sunday afternoon the investigation would be on hold until Monday or Tuesday so they can coordinate efforts with homeowner Howard Hudson’s insurance company.
Mika said the home’s occupants, an elderly woman and her son, were taken to Community Hospital in Munster for non-life-threatening injuries, “Which was amazing,” he said.
Hudson was not checked in at Community on Sunday afternoon, but his mother, Christina Hudson, was there. She declined to speak.
Mika said the location or cause of the blast would not be officially confirmed until a thorough examination of the home’s gas piping and appliances can be completed.
The structure at 2735 Norman collapsed, and a neighboring house to the west sustained fire damage.
Before that can happen, water used to extinguish the flames is going to have to be pumped out of the basement.
The structure at 2735 Norman collapsed, and a neighboring house to the west caught on fire and it’s east side windows were blown out from the blast, Mika said. Firefighters extinguished the flames within 30 minutes, he said.
Mika said there were two explosions, based on neighbor accounts. Hudson and his mother were able to get out of the home after the first explosion. It was the second explosion that engulfed their home in flames, he said.
Griffith and Munster firefighters assisted.