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December 16, 2005

VIDEO: Gas Tower implosion

Crowds flooded the intersection of Firmin and Home Avenue

It's not often Kokomoans find reason to sit on their rooftops. That's more the speed of Chicago Cubs fans trying to get a sneak peek of the game in Wrigleyville.

But on the rooftops they sat early Sunday morning in the area surrounding the intersection of Firmin Street and Home Avenue for the Kokomo Gas & Fuel tower implosion.

The event — as big as could be imagined in Kokomo — took on a tailgating atmosphere, with people sipping coffee and eating breakfast in the beds of Dodge Rams parked at Kokomo Spring and the old Delphi Delco Electronics Systems' lot.

Todd Scoggins, 34, was born and raised in Kokomo, but drove up from Indianapolis for the implosion, which received heavy media coverage from his current home city. Scoggins was set to scale a step ladder in the back of his pickup for a better view.

"I brought my video camera and I wanted to get up and over the crowd," Scoggins said at 7 a.m., 30 minutes before the tower fell as scheduled. "Things come and go and I guess if it's not needed anymore, I'm OK with them taking it down. It's an interesting story and something that doesn't happen often. I went down to the [Market Square Arena] implosion and it was impressive."

Chuck McCoskey, 50, said the gas tower held significant sentimental value for him.

"I grew up right over there," he said while gesturing toward Garden Place Apartments, previously Gateway Gardens. "And I worked here at the Delphi plant for 18 years. Growing up, we played baseball underneath it. We called it the tank back then."

He said even though he now works at Delphi Delco's main plant, his route to work still takes him past the tower.

"It will be weird driving through and not seeing it tomorrow," McCoskey said.

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