Two volunteer members of the Marion County Sheriff's Office who were off-duty the night of the south side disaster are now sharing their stories.
Sgt. Kenny Radtke lives just miles from the neighborhood and rushed out the door as soon as he heard the explosion. Radtke scaled a fence to get to the epi-center, despite warnings from neighbors about the scene.
Instead, Radtke went directly into the heart of the disaster. He searched nearby homes for survivors, eventually finding that everyone in those homes had made it out.
"You've got this drywall lying on top of master bedroom beds and kids' beds, and you're lifting that up trying to see if there's anyone underneath that," Radtke said.
Deputy Jamie Essex also responded quickly, after hearing the explosion from nearby. He held a fire hose, while firefighters worked to save someone.
"We could hear the screams of whoever it was inside," Essex said.
Both men said that the damage was so bad, they were expecting to find many more injured or dead from the blast. Each called it a miracle that so many neighbors made it out unharmed.
"Being Hoosiers, we have a natural tendency to take care of ourselves and to help others," Essex said.
"(Was there a) south side angel over the people of the homes that were there? Sure," Radtke said.