Investigators Say Explosion Was Intentional

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Investigators say an Owen County homeowner set a fire in his house, prior to the home exploding.

The home explosion happened on Wednesday at 171 N. County Line Road in Spencer.

The explosion destroyed the home and killed the homeowner.

The Owen County Coroner says the victim was Don Richards, 84.

Dr. Roland Kohr of Terre Haute performed the autopsy, determining that Richards died of Pulmonary Barotrauma, or trauma from the shockwave of the blast. Dr. Kohr determined the manner of death to be suicide.

Investigators originally said the cause of the explosion was undetermined, due to the extensive damage.

However, investigators say they changed that determination because of witness testimony. Witnesses told investigators that Richards said he was going to blow up his house, due to foreclosure.

Investigators say they also found accelerants in several locations of the structure and the furnace had a missing gas valve.

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