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Indianapolis orders 29-damaged homes demolished in blast zone

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 8:48 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — Demolitions have been ordered for more than two dozen homes in a blast-ravaged Indianapolis neighborhood where a house explosion that killed two people is being investigated as a homicide case, officials said Wednesday.

The 29 homes slated for razing amounts to nearly a quarter of the 125 houses in the subdivision where the Nov. 10 explosion destroyed five homes and damaged dozens more, leaving some on the brink of collapse. No arrests have been made in the blast, which investigators believe was intentionally set and caused by natural gas.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said search warrants are being executed and interviews are being conducted, though he declined to say who had been interviewed or what investigators have found. He and other authorities announced Monday that the case is being treated as a criminal homicide investigation.

“As we learn information and learn the identities of individuals who might or might not have information, we're pursuing every lead along that line,” Curry said.

Indianapolis' code enforcement department said Wednesday that it had issued demolition orders for 29 heavily damaged homes in Richmond Hill, a subdivision on Indianapolis' south side. Four homes, including two that were leveled in the blast, are being maintained for now as part of the crime scene.

Owners of 17 of the 29 homes under demolition orders have until Dec. 20 to consult with an engineer to determine whether their home can be saved, said Adam Collins, deputy director of the city's code enforcement department.

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