INDIANAPOLIS - At 11:11 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2012, I had just gone to bed and was on the verge of falling asleep when a large boom jarred my house and prompted my wife and I to exclaim, "What was that?" at the same moment.
Within seconds, neighbors were outside, peering west from their homes in Franklin Township in vain search of what the source of the noise could have been. A distant sound of sirens could be heard, and I knew immediately it was time to get to work.
My house is about four miles from Richmond Hill, where an explosion killed two people and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes.
Tonight at 7:30 p.m., we're looking back over the year since the explosion and how families who lost their homes are rebuilding in our "Road to Recovery" special.
The force of the blast pierced the relative calm and quiet of a Saturday night for thousands of people.
From her apartment 2.5 miles from Richmond Hill, RTV6 Digital Executive Producer Kelly Patrick was sure something had happened in her neighborhood.
"We even checked all the ceilings in our building. We went outside to investigate, and the balcony of every apartment we could see -- probably 25 to 30 apartments -- had people on it," Patrick said. "We went back in and I called my mom, who was about eight miles away, and I said, 'Mom, something happened in our neighborhood.' She said, 'No, we heard it, too.' That's when I knew it was major."
From her home several miles away from Richmond Hill, RTV6 reporter Julie Pursley was also about to go to sleep.
"It was so loud, it literally shook my house to the point I thought it was an earthquake," Pursley said. "I immediately called the station. Then, I hung up and called police dispatch, and the dispatcher told me they don't know what it was. They were trying to figure it out. They were getting so many calls."
It turned out you didn't have to be close to the blast to hear it.
"I was standing on a friend's front porch on the east side of Greenfield. It sounded like someone hit the west side of her house with a cinder block," Cheryl Taylor wrote to RTV6 on Facebook.
"I live in Noblesville and I heard it," Laure Abel wrote. "Went outside trying to figure out what the boom was."
"I was sitting on my deck smoking in Franklin … and heard it," wrote Melinda Gill.
The explosion was, of course, much louder and more forceful nearby.
"I live about a mile away and thought a plane had crashed on my roof because of how loud it was," wrote Erica Dirindin. "I couldn't believe that only 2 lives were lost that night after seeing the destruction. It is a testament to the first responders and neighbors that ensured those that could escape did."
"(I was) awake, online sitting at dining table a half-mile away. Windows shook and china clinked," wrote Marsha Humphrey. "Thought someone shot a cannon in my back yard."
Special Section: Richmond Hill a year later -- http://bit.ly/RxMW0g