LOWELL | Two separate accounts have been set up at Centier Bank for the Hardiman and Strain families after the fatal house explosion last week in Lowell.
Contributions can be made at any bank branch or mailed to 1914 E. Commercial Ave., Lowell, IN 46356, said Debbie Miller, assistant manager of Centier's Lowell branch. For more information, call Centier in Lowell at (219) 696-6421.
"Each of the fund accounts were created by the families to help assist with needs," Miller said. "It's a way for people in any community to help in any way possible."
Victor Strain, 43, of 108 E. 181st Ave., was pronounced dead at 12:25 a.m. Tuesday at the scene of the explosion, according to a Lake County coroner's office report. His memorial service was Saturday at Sheets Funeral Home in Lowell.
The home destroyed in the blast is owned by the Arthur B. Hardiman Living Trust. Hardiman's daughter — Patty McLane, of Avon, Ind. — said Strain helped her family by checking on the home.
Investigators from three agencies are still continuing their probe, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said. Preliminary findings showed the cause of the blast to be a gas leak from a propane tank.
Patti Van Til, spokeswoman for the Lake County Sheriff's Department, said Wednesday the official cause is awaiting a final report from the office of the Indiana state fire marshal.
Lowell firefighters were called to the home about 7 p.m. Monday and found the home destroyed by an explosion and a residence to the west engulfed in flames.