'Pied Piper Mayor' of Richmond Hill leads the charge in keeping the community together

INDIANAPOLIS - The south side Richmond Hill explosion was one of the worst disasters to strike central Indiana in 2012. Our Call 6 Investigators are continuing to track the stories that were never told by survivors -- until now.

After more than $4 million in damage, Richmond Hill is on the rebound. It’s been slow and steady. This week, we jump on the road to recovery with a coach who’s helping to rebuild a team -- and a neighborhood.

Doug Aldridge coaches the Southport High School lacrosse team. The team is already in training for the season, which starts in March.

The Cardinals practice on the field at Mary Bryan Elementary School. It’s a field that on Nov. 10, 2012, served as an escape route for families fleeing the explosion in Richmond Hill. 

"I know about rebuilding a team,” Aldridge said. “Now (we’re just) trying to get people back in the neighborhood."

Doug is a member of the Homeowner's Association. He's so involved people call him “Mayor.” The intimacy he’s built with neighbors made the loss of life and the destruction difficult to bear last year.

Through it all, his athletes have helped keep his spirit up. With 12 seniors graduating, Aldridge is focused on team-building, while right across the field, he keeps an eye on the rebuilding of his neighborhood.

“It's neighbors helping neighbors,” Aldridge said. “I'm kinda leading (with) the torch, saying, ‘Come on.”

“You are the pied piper,” Call 6 investigator Rafael Sanchez said.

“You just added to my title -- ‘piped piper-mayor,’” Aldridge laughed.

Whatever name you choose for him, Aldridge is confident all 29 homes torn down in Richmond Hill will be replaced. The city has issued 15 new home building permits for the subdivision.


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