Richmond Hill: Determined to rebuild

Konecky family among those waiting to come home

INDIANAPOLIS - A year later, what you find in Richmond Hill is a neighborhood more tightly knit than ever.

Though some people have chosen never to return, and others have moved for jobs or growing families, those who've remained say they're now dealing with unexpected dilemmas.

"We've been in a rental for so long … almost a year," said Ryan and Sabrina Konecky, whose home was demolished after sustaining catastrophic damage Nov. 10, 2012, when a nearby home exploded after filling with gas.

"I'm ready," Sabrina said. "I'm ready to be home. It's kind of hard … people keep asking, like, when is your house going to be done?"

A decade ago, the couple says 2002 was a magical year for them. Friends and family watched a picture-perfect union, celebrated with cake, and rejoiced in their wedding vows.

It was the same year their home in the Richmond Hill neighborhood was built.

That home sat right behind the one at 8349 Fieldfare Way, the home blamed for the explosion which damage more than 120 houses and left a young couple dead.

Fortunately, the Koneckys and their two children were able to escape.

"It really made you thankful and appreciative of the family that you have," Sabrina said.

Though their new house has walls and a ceiling, the trappings of a residence, the Koneckys say it's not ready yet to be called a home.

Nearly a month before their planned September move-in, they say their builder stopped construction, leaving incomplete flooring, plumbing and woodwork. The house still needs paint and an air conditioner. It still needs a door handle -- already picked out and serving as a symbol of hope for the family.

"What it symbolizes … is just being able to walk in here and not drive by and daydream about what it's going to be like," the Koneckys said. "Just walk in, see kids playing on the floor."

Their yet unfinished new house stands on the same plot of land as the old one they lost. The family says they considered moving to a different subdivision, but couldn't do it.

"Even when it was dirt, it was home," they said. "It was home to us."

For now, the Koneckys return to their rental and talk of the day they will open the door to their home, sweet home.

"We are envisioning the future," Sabrina said. "That's what keeps us going."

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