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Indianapolis blast blamed on faulty furnace (VIDEO)

Mysterious blast in an Indiana neighborhood takes lives, prompts questions.

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A late-night blast in Indianapolis killed two people and triggered a large neighborhood fire that took firefighters hours to contain late November 10, 2012. Here, firefights watch as a Hurricane Sandy-sparked fire destroys at least 80 homes in New York City. (CNN/Screengrab)

The ex-husband of a woman whose home is thought to be at the center of a deadly explosion in Indianapolis says a faulty furnace may have led to the blast overnight Saturday, The Associated Press reported.

John Shirley's ex-wife Monserrate Shirley lived at the home with their 12-year-old-daughter.

He told the AP he got a text from his daughter more than a week ago telling him that the heat was out. It later came back on, but he told the AP "I bet you anything that's why it happened."

Gas company officials later told the AP they never received any faulty furnace complaints.

Indianapolis officials on Monday warned that investigations into the explosion "will take some time, the AP reported.

Local public safety director Troy Riggs today said authorities need time to "forensically look at everything," while investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the federal Department of Transportation will be assisting with the probe, according to Indiana's representative Andre Carson, said AP

The mysterious blast late Saturday killed at least two people, injured seven, flattened two homes and damaged at least 18 others, according to Reuters. 

"There's a significant number of homes that have sustained damage, including two that have been completely destroyed, no cause has been ruled out," said Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

"The investigation is ongoing."

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Some 200 people were evacuated to an elementary school and seven people were hospitalized with injuries after the blast and fire, fire officials told the Associated Press.

The cause of the explosion (or explosions) is not yet known, but Fox News said the sound could be heard for miles. The force of the blast "shattered windows, caved-in walls" and knocked "garage doors... off their hinges," survivors told the AP.

Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Lieutenant Bonnie Hensley said the blast blew up two homes a little after 11 p.m. Saturday, causing a fire that spread to two dozen neighborhood homes, reported The Chicago Tribune

"This looks like a war zone; it really does," Hensley told AP.

The fire had been brought under control as of 12:30 a.m. local time Sunday, officials told The Chicago Tribune.

Here's a local video report from Fox 59's WXIN in Indianapolis: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121112/indianapolis-blast-probe-will-take-time-official