Richmond Hill couple lost, not forgotten

INDIANAPOLIS - Hundreds of calls flooded 911 operators on Nov. 10, 2012, after an explosion rocked a south side neighborhood.

Some of the callers felt their homes shake from as far as three miles away, not knowing the magnitude of what happened.

In Richmond Hill, the epicenter of the blast, the scene was chaos.

"We have extensive damage to a lot of houses along this area," one firefighter reported in to dispatch. "We have a lot of frantic people."

"The noises, the cries for help," recalled resident Michelle Smith. "I never … I know what pandemonium means. I never witnessed it before. I now know what it looks like."

The house at 8349 Fieldfare Way had filled with gas, eventually exploding with catastrophic force.

Next door, at 8355 Fieldfare Way, Dion and Jennifer Longworth had no chance of escape.

"We received a call that in the basement and on the second floor of 8355 Fieldfare Way we have two people trapped in the residence," a firefighter reported in.

Neither survived.

"Unfortunately, we lost two sweet neighbors who had an impact in our neighborhood," said neighbor Leslie Melvin."

The Longworths, married for 11 years, had met while working at a department store in the Greenwood Park Mall. She was a Ball State Cardinal; he an IUPUI Jaguar.

Their love for each other was their signature.

Jennifer, a teacher, took pride in knitting scarves for her second grade students as Christmas gifts. Dion, an electrical engineer, was an avid gardener.

The Longworths had a third member of their family: a dog named Pepper. Despite a search by family members, Pepper was never found.

The couple's relatives aren't speaking about the case until after the trial. But their neighbors can't help but think of them.

"They will never be forgotten," Melvin said.

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