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Accidental causes ruled out in explosion, fire at east side apartment complex

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INDIANAPOLIS – Investigators have ruled out all accidental causes following a weekend explosion at an east side apartment complex.

The explosion sparked a fire at the Rowney Terrace Apartments located at 1451 S. Bancroft St. late Saturday night. When crews arrived, they found thick smoke billowing from one of the apartments. No one was home and there were no injuries. Four apartments had to be evacuated because of structural damage.

According to a report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the blast caused about $100,000 in damage. That report also noted that “fire investigators conducted an examination of the fire scene and determined that all accidental causes for the fire could be ruled out.”

Investigators smelled “the odor of gasoline” throughout the apartment and also found a melted plastic gasoline can in the downstairs living room. Neighbors reported hearing a loud “boom” before the fire that knocked down items inside their apartments.

The south wall sustained significant damage following the blast and fire. Code Enforcement determined that all units in the building were unsafe, leaving 16 people without a place to live.