MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ind. — First responders and neighbors said they are still coming to grips with Saturday’s devastating house explosion in rural Montgomery County that left two people dead and one person injured.
Family and friends that spoke with FOX59/CBS4 said they are mourning the loss of 90-year-old Richard Chastain and 91-year-old Marilyn Fox. Chastain and Fox were identified Monday as the two victims killed in the explosion by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
Dave Long is a longtime family friend of Fox and Chastain.
“I was devastated,” Long said. “I got a call that there was an explosion at Dick Chastain’s house.”
Long said Chastain was not only a pillar in the community but also a retired National Guardsman.
“He was well-known in the community, and everyone was in disbelief,” he said. “His birthday was the day before, and we were going to celebrate.”
Long said they planned to celebrate Chastain’s 90th birthday that Saturday. They’re now grieving instead of celebrating.
“There is a lot of community support. People emailing, calling, and sharing stories,” said Long.
The Crawfordsville Fire Chief Scott Busenbark said the investigation is in the hands of the State Fire Marshall.
He said the house was powered by propane gas. There is still no cause of the explosion.
The third victim is still recovering but is in good condition.