'Very Tragic': Explosion Destroys NFL Player's Home, Kills His Father


The father of Tennessee Titans cornerback Caleb Farley died overnight in an apparent explosion that destroyed the NFL player’s North Carolina home and left another person injured, authorities said.

Robert M. Farley, 61, was found dead in the debris of the Lake Norman, North Carolina, house Tuesday morning, the Iredell County Fire Marshal’s Office said in a statement.

First responders arrived at the house around midnight. They found one victim exiting the collapsed structure. The person, who has not been identified publicly, was transported to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte with injuries that were not life-threatening, county officials said. Photos of the house show piles of rubble.

County property records list the NFL player as the homeowner. The Titans player was not there at the time of the reported explosion, said Kent Greene, director of Iredell County Fire Services and Emergency Management. Property records list the tax value of the home as nearly $2 million.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel called the situation “shocking” and said that the team will do everything possible to support Farley. His teammates confirmed that Farley, who was born and raised in Maiden, North Carolina, had traveled home to the Tar Heel state Tuesday morning.

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Farley, the No. 22 overall pick in the 2021 draft, was placed on injured reserve last November with a back issue. He has played 12 games in his first two seasons and is currently listed as physically unable to perform as the Titans wrap up training camp this week.

In college, the 6-foot-2, 197-pound cornerback was the first high-profile player to opt out of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vrabel told the Titans about Caleb Farley’s loss at the end of Tuesday’s scrimmage, and then the players took a knee in an apparent prayer. He said what’s important is that they do everything to support Farley and his family.

“That’s the most important thing is to focus on him and not any of the … everything else is pretty trivial,” Vrabel said after practice at the team’s headquarters in Nashville.

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Titans safety Kevin Byard lost his own mother in June 2022. He said he told Farley before he returned to North Carolina to lean hard into his faith.

“I know he lost his mother at a young age as well, so he’s dealt with a lot of adversity as well,” Byard said. “So just very tragic. And, you know, as a team and as a brother, all we can do and all I can do is to try to be there for him.”

The local fire marshal’s office is continuing to investigate the cause of the collapse along with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Dominion Energy and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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