Family breaks ground on new home in Richmond Hill subdivision after Indianapolis home explosion

Koerner family breaks ground on new home

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis neighborhood where an explosion killed two people and left 33 homes so damaged they had to be demolished is marking a new beginning with a groundbreaking on a new home.

Vicky Koerner broke ground on a new home Tuesday in the Richmond Hill subdivision after her damaged home was torn down in December. The explosion lifted Koerner's home from its foundation.

More: Indy Home Explosion Special Section

"We're excited. We're excited because this is one step closer to coming back home, one step closer to the rebirth of this neighborhood," she said. "This is just one of many. I anticipate in the next week we're going to see several houses starting up."

Koerner said her family didn't think twice about rebuilding.

"On the night of the explosion, there were neighbors risking their lives for one another before first responders were even here. There's heroes that reside in this neighborhood," she said. "I would be fearful going anyplace else, not knowing if the neighbors there would do the same thing."

Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, and his brother, Robert Leonard, each face about 50 charges, including murder, arson and conspiracy, in connection with the explosion.

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