CAUGHT ON CAMERA: House explosion in Princeton determined to be natural gas

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Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 12:04 PM CST
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PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) - Authorities in Princeton battled a large fire at Clark and Hart Street.

There say there was a natural gas explosion at a home, which is split up into apartments, around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

There is heavy damage and several first responders were called to the scene.

Surveillance video from Mike Couts shows the moment the house exploded. (Warning: There is some language)

Princeton house explosion caught on camera (Video from Mike Couts)

Officials tell us two people were taken to the hospital by ambulance. They believe four people lived there.

Officials say CenterPoint and Duke Energy were at the scene.

We spoke with two people who lived in the home, Diaghman Gibson and Tesia Crumbaugh. They tell our Mitch Carter the maintenance man was trying to get the heater to work before the explosion happened.

“Woke up to the smell of gas. Something told me to leave,” says Gibson, “so I got up and got ready, talked to the maintenance man, told him I was leaving, and to lock up whenever they was done, and I’d be back in a little bit.”

It wasn’t just the house that was destroyed in the explosion. Crumbaugh says there were precious memories inside.

“We’ve lost a couple of loved ones over the years, and the stuff that is non-replaceable was up there, so that’s hitting pretty hard.”

She was at work during the explosion, and says she lost some ashes of a deceased family member.

We spoke with Princeton Fire Territory Chief Nick Medler, whose crews were the first on-scene.

“We know that a couple of those people had been transported for medical attention. I’m not sure the extend of their injuries at this point,” said Medler in an early update following the explosion.

Here is our full interview with Princeton Fire Territory Chief Nick Medler:

Donnie Hyatt also spoke with us. He came to the scene after learning of the fire. He says several of his family members live in the house, and that he rushed from work to get to the scene.

“I looked at my manager. He goes, ‘do you need to leave?’ and I’m like ‘please.’ So, I go barreling through the backdoor of the building to get my vehicle and drive over here as fast as I can,” says Hyatt.

We also spoke with a neighbor, Mackenzie Vincent. She says some of the siding on her house is damaged. She tells us she rushed home to make sure her dogs were safe.

“I was at work, and my sister called me and told me that the house next to mine was in flames,” says Vincent, “so I just ran here to get my dogs out. So we’re all squished in the car.”

For the folks who live inside, it’s a lot to take in during a short amount of time, but they say they’re glad everybody is alive, and their focus is on getting connected with the Red Cross and looking forward.