Monday, August 15, 2022

Victims identified in deadly Indiana house explosion

(NewsNation) — The three people killed Wednesday when a house exploded in the southern Indiana city of Evansville have been identified as husband and wife, Charles and Martina Hite, and Jessica Teague, their next-door neighbor. 

Charlie and Martina loved to do everything together. They loved riding bikes through town, selling wares at the flea market, playing in the Special Olympics, and going to church together.


My stepson and step-daughter-in-law (?) live in Evansville and knew the couple from when Nicole worked for the agency that handled the home for mentally challenged young adults where they were living at the time.
They both fell in love with each other and wanted to get married but the agency's rules forbade that for whatever reason, so they moved into their own home and tied the knot.
Art told my wife Lisa, and keep in mind this is third or fourth hand information, that a day or two before the explosion, a friend had installed a new gas water heater in their home. When they returned home from their jobs that day, they opened the door and flipped on a light switch, causing the explosion and killing them.


  1. the only thing I know about that place is the airport sucked back in 1977. no shit. the whole place shut down at 1130 or something. ended up sleeping on the floor of the waiting area for
    a 8 am flight the next day. no cabs, no one to call or get something to eat or anything.
    some guy woke me up around 7 am when it open up again. never went back or anywhere near it. they even turned off damn near all the lights too. good thing I had a flashlight !

  2. Damn, Ken, that’s tragic. I wonder if they smelled gas but failed to realize they just needed to get the hell out of there instead of needing light to see what was going on?

    1. I don't know. Hell, they were mentally disabled. They may not have known about natural gas or even what it smells like. Like I said, this is 3rd and 4th hand information.

  3. I worked in a trailer park, and we refurbished old trailers, to be sold. One thing that was always done, before the gas company would turn on the gas, was that they sent out a technician, and they checked any gas appliance for safety, before final ok to leave the premises and leave the gas on.
    I would install a gas water heater, but the gas company had to do that final check, before it got the ok. If not, I never would have taken that burden on myself, knowing that I could possibly cause a tragedy. The exhaust also had to be inspected for safety, as well. CO leaks are a very real cause of death, here in Michigan during the winter months, when poorly installed furnaces or space heaters, etc. leak, causing carbon monoxide to leak and enter homes.
    This is really a sad end to a couple in love. It seems like I saw their story on television or in print one time. And while the friend who hooked the appliance up was the guilty party, I am also sad for him, or her, as well. That is a heavy burden they will have to bear, for the rest of their life.

    1. "This is really a sad end to a couple in love. [...] I am also sad for [the friend who hooked up the appliance]."
      Me too.

      Gas is not something for random people to be fooling around with. Way back in I think the mid-1980's the MIT Outing Club (for hiking and other outdoor activities; nothing to do with teh buttsecks) burned down one of its two New Hampshire cabins by accident. Someone decided to save money and/or time and they did the new gas hookup by themselves. Now this was a bunch of MIT faculty and students, people with IQs a minimum 2 standard deviations above normal, and this was not just book smarts. Lots of people there did stuff with their hands too. And those guys managed to burn down the cabin.

  4. My heartfelt regards for your family Ken. That’s a sad, horrible accident.

  5. It could be a simple as automatically reaching for the light switch (instead of being mentally handicapped) that triggered it.
    How many times have you just done something automatically when you got home, or into your truck without thinking?

    I ran a gas dept in a small TX city.
    Just some facts-
    -The combustion concentration for natural gas is 4.8(?)% to 14.8(?) call it 5-15%.
    -An electric spark is right in the middle of the ignition range.
    -Natural gas is lighter than air (propane is heavier)
    -Natural gas is odorless and uses Mercaptain for it's skunky smell.
    Whenever we had to shut someones gas off, or it was a new install or restart- we always did a shut-in test where we turned everything off (including the lines to stoves and water heaters to be sure there was no leaks.
    Then we'd be sure the lines were purged (remember that 5-15%?) before we'd light anything.
    If we smelled gas before we lit the pilot, we'd do a soap test - squirt soapy water on all the connections. If we saw bubbles, and a quick wrench turn wouldn't stop it, then the meter was locked off until it passed a soap test.

    That's the minimum anyone should do when changing any gas (or propane) appliance.

  6. For years new gas appliances came with 2 nozzles Propane and LNG. Now the units are sealed with the specific nozzles. Could be the wrong tank was purchased. Just saying.


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