Richmond Hill residents look toward rebuilding, healing in 2013

Many will repair homes, stay in neighborhood

INDIANAPOLIS - Imagine starting the New Year with no home and many of your belongings destroyed -- that's the situation for many in Richmond Hill.

But the New Year offers a new beginning for residents there who plan to stay and fix up their homes in 2013.

"It was like a war. It was like a war zone. You're in a state of shock, you're panicking," said Mavles Baier, who lives across the street from the home that exploded. Baier's daughter and grandchildren live directly behind that home. "I actually did cut through to go over to her house to see if everything was OK."

Baier, her husband, daughter and grandchildren were all safe, but her daughter's home is now gone and hers is heavily damaged. But, this is where they live, she says, and they plan to stay put.

"Definitely determined. We do like it here. We could actually build, fix it up and move, but we wouldn't move from here," Baier said.

Bulldozers, orange fences and police tape still cover up many of these homes, but a lot of neighbors say they hope all of this will be gone in 2013.

Tami Myers sure hopes so. Her house will get repaired and Richmond Hill will remain her home.

"I think it's important to stay here," Myers said. "I think now that we have word of what really happened and justice is being served that our neighborhood could get back to the way it way it was with children running around, puppies running around."

Neighbors said some families will never return, but many are united and ready to stand together.

"It has to be better. I mean, when you think about it, it has to be better," Baier said. "You basically had an explosion that destroyed all these homes. It has to be better."

At this point, crews have torn down more than 20 homes, but more residents are still waiting for bids and permits to tear down their houses.

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