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Man identified in Attica home explosion

The victim has been identified as 54-year old Robert Christenberry.

Posted: Sep. 17, 2018 6:14 PM
Updated: Sep. 18, 2018 4:39 AM

FOUNTAIN COUNTY, Ind (WLFI) - Neighbors are reacting after a home explosion in Attica Monday morning. The explosion happened on the corner of East Monroe and South McDonald Streets.

Related: Fire crews investigate an apparant home explosion in Attica

54-year old Robert Christenberry survived and is recovering. But that may have been hard to imagine in the moments after the blast. Neighbors said they've never seen anything like it. "We went out of our house and black smoke was just pouring out,” said Paullette Whorral after the home explosion.

Police believe Christenberry lit a cigarette inside his home after a gas leak, causing the explosion. "Upon arrival we found one house fully engulfed with one victim outside,” said Attica Police Department Chief Robert Cole.

Christenberry was the only one inside the home at the time of the explosion. He suffered third degree burns to his arms and additional burns to his face.

Paullette Whorrall lives down the street from the home. She said she didn't hear anything and only went outside after her son informed her of the fire. "Everybody is really close. Everyone wants to help each other. We're always concerned with what's going on with everybody else,” said Whorral.

Four law enforcement agencies and five fire departments were on the scene. They helped remove a woman in a wheelchair from the home next door after the fire spread.

The joint effort is something Chief Robert Cole found crucial for helping victims. "In order to get a job done, we have to work together. In this area we are very close knit and we get the job done,” said Cole.

The scene remains under investigation.

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