An explosion and fire damaged a Royal Center home early Sunday morning.
Just before 2:00 am Sunday, Cass County Central Dispatch received several 911 calls regarding a fire and explosion in Royal Center on US 35 North. Deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and troopers from the Indiana State Police responded. Fire units from Royal Center responded and requested assistance from Harrison Township Fire, Cass County Fire District #1 and Logansport Fire, as well as Cass County Emergency Medical Services. Initial scene assessment found a residence in the 400 block of North Chicago Street (US 25) had exploded and caught fire.
Preliminary investigation by Detective Sergeant Dale Campbell found Jody Thompson, 51, of Royal Center had been asleep in his home when his residence exploded. A neighbor responded to the scene after hearing and feeling the explosion. The Good Samaritan kept Thompson in his vehicle until medical personnel arrived to provide care. Cass County Emergency Medical Services transported the victim to Logansport Memorial Hospital where he was later transported via ambulance to a trauma center in Indianapolis. A medical helicopter was not available because of impending weather.
The Indiana State Fire Marshall’s Office was requested to assist with this investigation.
The fire departments extinguished the fire, searched for other victims and assisted the sheriff’s office and State Fire Marshall’s office with the investigation of the incident. The agencies were able to confirm no one else was at the residence when the explosion occurred.
Sheriff Ed Schroder stated, “This is a terrible tragedy that critically injured Mr. Thompson while destroying his home and personal possessions. We received reports of citizens hearing and feeling the explosion from at least eight miles away.”
This incident is still under investigation by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Indiana State Fire Marshall’s office. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 574-753-7800.