“I’m actually more inclined to stay.’’Patterson was allowed back into his home about 1:10 p.m.
More than 100 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire, according to a fire department statement.
Officials evacuated about 200 people to a nearby elementary school, where the Red Cross sheltered about 20 of them for the night. Others spent the night at friends' homes or with family, and officials planned to take the rest to the Southport Presbyterian Church.
As of late Sunday morning, approximately 60 cases of water and Gatorade were outside the school and a police spokesman said donations are pouring in, including toiletries, doughnuts and pizza.
Firefighters brought the fire under control by 12:30 a.m. Sunday but were still putting out hotspots afterward, Hensley said.
From his bedroom a block away, 47-year-old software engineer Chris Patterson felt the walls of his home shake. The force of the explosion shattered a glass sliding door in his home, he said.
"It felt like something had hit our house,” Patterson said.
Patterson and his wife stepped outside, where they found other neighbors in the street and an orange glow in the distance.
Another neighbor who lives in the newer subdivision where the blast happened said his windows were blown out.
The subdivision where the blast occurred was built in 2001, said resident Steve Belt. Belt said he was in bed with his wife when the explosion nearly knocked them out of bed, he said.
Belt was later escorted by police back inside his home for medication his wife needs because of a recent surgery.
As fire officials shut off gas to the neighborhood, police came by to evacuate residents to the elementary school staging area, where officials had established a triage area. There, after checking in with authorities, stunned neighbors sat on bleachers and waited for more information.
"You had a bunch of sleepy kids and nervous-looking parents," Patterson said.
Patterson and his wife ultimately spent the night at his mother's home.
As search and investigation efforts continue today, the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement will assess the safety of homes affected by the explosion.
Reuters contributed to this report.