Father of Tennessee Titans player Caleb Farley killed in N.C. house explosion

Father of Tennessee Titans player Caleb Farley killed in N.C. house explosion

At midnight this morning, Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department,
Mooresville Fire Rescue, Chapman Fire Department, and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office
were notified of a potential explosion at 292 Barber Loop in Mooresville. Upon arrival,
an individual was seen exiting what remained of the structure, which was completely destroyed.
That victim was transported to Atrium Main in Charlotte with non-life-threatening injuries.
That individual is identified as 25-year-old Christian Rogers, a friend of the homeowner.
At approximately 4.30, a second victim was located in the rubble and was deceased.
He was identified as 61-year-old Robert Farley, the resident at the home.
The property is owned by Caleb Farley, who did come by the residence later in the morning,
but we did not ask him questions. The Iredell County Fire Marshal’s Office,
State Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms is continuing their investigation.
Did you say somebody walked out of that?
Yes, sir.
Can you tell me what was his condition like? What was he saying when he walked out?
Addled wasn’t saying much. He obviously had a concussion from the blast.
He was treated on scene by Iredell County EMS and transported.
Can you confirm the relationship between Robert and Caleb?
To the best of our knowledge, Robert is Caleb Farley’s father.
And you said you didn’t ask Mr. Farley questions when he was on the scene. He did not ask questions?
We did not. While I was there, the Fire Marshal did walk him around the residence
and talk to him a bit, but he was not at the scene at the time of the explosion.
Is there any indication of what could have caused the explosion? Our neighbors said they smelled gas.
We’re looking into an issue of natural gas, but the investigation is ongoing.
Are you guys working with the gas company right now?
I know they were out looking at different markings.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir. The meter has been sequestered, so it’ll be investigated further.
And it was only those two people in the home?
That’s correct.
And as far as our neighborhood, should any neighbors be concerned at all or check their line?
We don’t believe so, but it’s always good to inspect your appliances that use natural gas or propane.
Just have a repairman or service technician come and check those just to be safe.
Is it the utility’s responsibility or the homeowner’s responsibility when a leak does occur?
Depends on where the leak is. If the leak is on the outside of the meter, the street side of the meter,
it would be the gas company. If it’s on the homeowner side of the meter,
it would be the homeowner’s responsibility.
You said the ATF is on the scene. About how long will it take to conclude that federal investigation?
It’s hard to say at this point.
I guess the question for you, have you obviously talked to the family? How difficult?
It is a very difficult situation.
Like I said, Caleb did come into town this morning.
His uncle and aunt were on the scene this morning, obviously distraught,
but doing the best they can under the circumstances.
And as of right now, no one else has been evacuated in terms of the neighborhood?
No ma’am. And that is the only structure that suffered significant damage.
Do we have any update on the condition of that 25-year-old as of right now?
He is awake and alert, and last I checked, he was still at CMC,
or I’m sorry, Atrium Magnet Charlotte.
You said that was a friend of the homeowner?
That’s correct.
What’s your son’s name?
Christian Farley.
I believe it is C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N, I’m sorry, Rogers, R-O-G-E-R-S.
At this point, is any kind of criminal activity suspected or solved?
No ma’am, it’s all what appears to be an accident.
When did you start getting 9-1-1 calls? Can you talk a little bit about,
you know, just, was it people in the neighborhood?
I know there was a lot of people walking around, possibly.
Can you just talk a little bit about when you started getting calls and everything?
It was just before midnight. The first dispatch went out at 50 seconds after midnight.
The first units were dispatched at about three minutes after midnight,
and the first unit arrived on scene at eight minutes after midnight.
Did not have any lights on the road for any of the investigation or finding anything?
No, we were pretty quick in getting light towers and tripod lights to the scene.
Like I said, it was a lot of devastation. If you’ve been to the scene,
there’s nothing left of this structure except maybe a partial wall.
But with the scene lighting on today’s fire apparatus, there was plenty of lights there early on.
Can you just briefly talk about what goes into when you call the rods
into a scene like this when we’re home exploded? What goes into investigation?
The call was dispatched as a structure collapse, which is our protocol in situations like this.
Mooresville Fire and Rescue has a, what we call an urban search and rescue team.
They were dispatched originally with Lake Norman Volunteer Fire and Rescue.
So they bring all the tools and equipment and resources we need to shore up structures,
make sure it’s safe for the responders to work and do the search.
After looking at the structure, can you talk about how unlikely it is that somebody survived
and not only survived but walked away from that?
It is incredibly fortunate for that young man that he was able to walk away from that structure.
When you got, did you arrive at the scene this morning?
Yes, ma’am.
When you got there, kind of talk to me about what goes through your mind,
being a part of this team that shows up there to these types of scenes.
What goes through your mind when you see a house in that state?
That there could not be anyone left in it alive. That was my first thought.
And when I found out someone did walk out of it, I was amazed.
We’ve had tornadoes in Iredell County before that have destroyed homes.
This is the first one we’ve seen that actually exploded like this with this kind of destruction.
This was a 6,300 square foot home and there’s nothing left but maybe a part of the garage.
From your understanding, you said that Robert was the one who primarily lived in the home,
but the homeowner typically doesn’t. What’s your understanding of who was there?
Our understanding was that Mr. Farley, the elder, was at home and lives there, yes.
Caleb Farley, his son, purchased the home. Our understanding was for his father.
The way that house exploded, do you think that that was a field of gas?
It had to be. It had to be. For as large a house as that was,
that gas was there for a while. It finally found its way to an ignition source
and caused the explosion.
Do you believe this victim was potentially in a bedroom? Do you know where in the house?
We believe, based on the floor plan of the house, that it was in the bedroom.
Can you explain the connection one more time between the 25-year-old and Mr. Farley?
Just a friend of the family.
All right. Thank you all. You’ve got my card.

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