Residents react to Attica building explosion

ATTICA, Ind. (WLFI) – Jeff Henry was reading his Tuesday morning paper when he heard a noise that literally rocked his world.

“It sounded like artillery going off,” said Henry.

It was just before 11:00 a.m., when police said a possible natural gas explosion ripped apart the Families United building in Attica. It wasn’t long after when Henry got a knock on his door.

“The fire department came first, and they came in and they said the gas levels were so high, we had to leave immediately, don’t grab anything. Get. Go,” said Henry.

Attica Police Chief Robert Cole said that was the same for most of the homes on S. Perry Street.

“The gas issue we have, some of the homes are starting to get gas into them,” said Cole. “So, for their safety, we’re moving them out of the incident area. That way, they’re a little safer.”

Cole said the building, which serves as a counseling center for troubled youth, has been empty since June of 2013.

Cole said nobody was injured in the explosion.

“You just don’t think it’s going to happen here,” said Henry. “You always take it as a safe thing, but apparently it’s not.”

Warming centers were set up at a local Methodist church and the Hotel Attica for those residents who were forced to evacuate their homes.

Police said they do believe the explosion was caused by a natural gas leak, but they’re waiting to complete their investigation before confirming that.

Police said the investigation could last several days.

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