Contractors: Months before Richmond Hill returns to normal


While investigators continue to look through the debris, contractors working with residents of Richmond Hill tell Fox 59, the road to recovery after a deadly explosion is going to be a long one.

The damage is estimated at a whopping $4.4 million dollars and now public safety officials are bringing in additional manpower to speed up their investigation.

"I don't want to give a time frame," said Indianapolis Public Safety Director Troy Riggs. "If they can get it done this weekend, fine, but this is a large scene. This is the largest explosion I've ever seen."

It's only when they clear the scene that homeowners will be able to re-build.

Mark Belcher with Indianapolis General Contractor is working with some residents inside Richmond Hill. He said it's been non-stop work since Sunday trying to help victims get their belonging out of their homes and into a safe place. He is also helping homeowners find a long term place to stay as many begin to move out of hotels and into rental homes.

The timeline to get back into their homes, Belcher said, is not good.

Doug Arnold with H&R General Contractors agreed. He said it will take construction crews even longer, because of the winter months ahead.

"You can only pour concrete at a certain temperature... Siding is too brittle when it gets cold. It'll crack when you're cutting it... Drywall needs to be at a certain temperature to dry," said Arnold. "It's not a good time to rebuild, no. It's probably the worst."

He added, Richmond Hill will not look like what it used to at least for another six months and at most next Fall.

The costs of re-building a home is staggering as well. Both Arnold and Belcher said a leveled home will cost up to $250,000 to re-build.

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