Firefighters, neighbors say chaos followed Indy explosion

In this file photo taken on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, Mark Leonard walks to a pre-trial hearing  in Indianapolis. Leonard is one of three people charged with rigging a house to explode to collect insurance. Opening statements were scheduled Monday afternoon in the trial of Mark Leonard after the final jurors were selected. Leonard faces 53 charges, including murder, arson and conspiracy, in what prosecutors say was a plan to blow up a house to collect insurance money. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, FILE)
In this file photo taken on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, Mark Leonard walks to a pre-trial hearing in Indianapolis. Leonard is one of three people charged with rigging a house to explode to collect insurance. Opening statements were scheduled Monday afternoon in the trial of Mark Leonard after the final jurors were selected. Leonard faces 53 charges, including murder, arson and conspiracy, in what prosecutors say was a plan to blow up a house to collect insurance money. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, FILE)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An emotional first day of testimony in the trial of an Indianapolis man charged in a deadly 2012 house explosion has concluded with firefighters and residents describing a chaotic scene that one homeowner says gave the impression he was “standing in death.”

More than a dozen people testified Tuesday at the murder, arson and conspiracy trial of Mark Leonard. Prosecutors say Leonard plotted to blow up his then-girlfriend’s house to collect insurance money to pay off debts.

Two neighbors died in the explosion.

Firefighters who responded to the scene choked up as they recalled trying to reach one of the victims, John “Dion” Longworth, but being beaten back by flames.

Jurors also heard some of the 274 calls placed to 911 after the blast.

The trial could last six weeks.

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