MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WJZY) – North Carolina authorities have identified the cause of a catastrophic house explosion that killed NFL player Caleb Farley’s father.
Iredell County Fire Services and Emergency Management announced Tuesday that a natural gas explosion with unknown origin leveled the Mooresville home.
Dominion Energy tested the regulator in the gas meter that was recovered from the scene at its facility in Gastonia, and the regulator was normal.
Authorities could not read the hour-by-hour usage because of an issue with the software, Director Kent Greene explained. Authorities are unsure if they’ll be able to read it in the future.
Robert Matthews Farley, 61, was killed in the house explosion while staying in the home, which was owned by his son, who plays cornerback for the Tennessee Titans. Farley’s body was recovered around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, as crews searched the debris.
A friend of Caleb Farley injured in the blast, identified as Christian Rogers, 25, was seen leaving the property as the first emergency crews arrived at the scene and was transported to Atrium Health CMC in Charlotte with non-life-threatening injuries, officials confirmed.
Authorities said Rogers “wasn’t saying much” when found and had a concussion from the blast. Rogers has since been released from the hospital.
Neighbors in the area told Nexstar’s WJZY they heard “a loud explosion” and smelled gas. Some also said the current homeowner, Caleb, lived in the house for less than a year.
“A loud boom, about five minutes to midnight,” Clay Wild, who was out for a morning walk, told WJZY. “A gorgeous house, in all respects; I can’t believe it.”
A family friend who grew up with Robert Farley described him as a leader of the pack.
“I can just remember when we were younger and watching those guys play whatever kind of sports that they were playing, that they were kind of the lead dog and Robert was one of those guys,” said Danny Hipps.
Hipps said Farley eventually progressed into a great athlete. But he’ll never forget the confident personality Farley had.
“I think that [Robert] showed compassion for a lot of other people while he was here, but really he would help people. He’s a very laid-back person,” Hipps said.