First responders honored by Richmond Hill residents

Residents showed their thanks and appreciation

INDIANAPOLIS - First responders from more than a dozen agencies were honored by Richmond Hill residents Sunday evening.

Residents hosted The Richmond Hill First Responder Dinner at the Southport Presbyterian Church to show their appreciation for the men and women who rushed to their aid Nov. 10 and the days that followed the south side explosion.

Special Section: Indianapolis Explosion

"We’re so thankful for everything they’ve done to help keep our neighborhood safe and to help us work though this" said resident Tony Burnett.

A candlelit church gymnasium was transformed into a banquet hall to host the event for those who were connected by the events of the explosion.

“Our world changed completely. We’ve definitely come a long way. There are some of us who are still going through therapy; there are some of us that started doing the reconstruction of our homes. Some of us have looked at new floor plans to rebuild and some of us have decided to move on,” said resident Leslie Melvin.

Many residents were temporarily displaced from their homes after the blast, but other homes sustained too much damage for repair.

“Stopping by there and looking where my beautiful home used to be and now it’s just a pile of dirt. It’s hard to sit and look at that,” Burnett said.

Residents said they are getting through the difficult times thanks to the first responders who were the heroes that held their hands.

“We could just walk up to them and they just knew. They reached their hands out to us and gave us words of encouragement and gave us strength,” Melvin said.

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