Grace Community Church mourning loss of man killed by cookout blast
Last Updated: 106 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - A Noblesville congregation was still mourning the loss of one of its own Tuesday, as local officials investigated the cause of a grill explosion which left one man dead.
Doug Gripp, 52, a husband and father of two from Carmel, was apparently beginning to cook for the 400 members of the Grace Community Church Men's Ministry when the propane grill he was using exploded, killing him instantly.
The grill was a custom, commercial grade grill with two, 30-pound propane tanks, according to Noblesville Firefighter Rick Russell.
"When you're dealing with propane, you're dealing with a product that's a little heavier than air; it can settle, and the way that it's disbursed rather rapidly – the build-up can occur rather quickly," Russell said.
Russell said the department will now undergo a thorough examination of the grill to try to determine what may have caused the blast.
"We'll check valves, we'll check for leaks and we also have to look at the history of the machine: how long have they owned it, has there ever been any previous damage to it? What routine maintenance gets done?" he said.
Grace Community Church kept its doors open late Tuesday night to allow pastors to help its congregation grieve.
Senior Pastor Dave Rodriguez said special attention is being given to Gripp's family.
"We have been in conversation with them. One of our pastors has been there. We're in shock, she's in shock and we are trusting God for her life, for their life, for the family," he said.
The church said it has changed its planned services for the weekend to be called "Worship in the Middle of Tragedy."
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