Caleb Farley: NFL player’s father killed in home explosion

Caleb Farley
Caleb Farley

The father of NFL star Caleb Farley was killed in a massive explosion early on Tuesday at the player's North Carolina home, officials said.

First responders found the body of Robert Farley, 61, after searching through the debris of the multimillion-dollar house.

The Tennessee Titans cornerback was not at home at the time of the explosion.

The investigation is focusing on the property's natural gas lines - no foul play is suspected.

Christian Rogers, 25, a family friend who was also at the home, was taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, according to a statement released by Iredell County.

The 6,300 sq ft (585 sq m) lakeside property, in the Charlotte suburb of Mooresville, was reduced to rubble and all vehicles parked outside the home were destroyed.

"There's a lot of devastation," Iredell County director of fire services and emergency management Kent Greene told the Tennessean. "There's nothing left of this structure except a partial wall."

Mr Farley, 24, was spotted on the scene speaking to authorities after the blast on Tuesday morning.

Neighbours told local news outlet Queen City News that they had smelled gas and heard the explosion.

"A loud boom, about five minutes to midnight," said neighbour Clay Wild. "I can't believe it."

Caleb Farley grew up in nearby Maiden, North Carolina, before going to play American football at Virginia Tech. He was later the number 22 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel gathered the players after practice on Tuesday and they kneeled to pray for Mr Farley.

"What's most important is that we do everything we can to support him emotionally," Mr Vrabel said. "It's shocking. We've got to focus on Caleb and his family, and how we can support him."

In 2018, Mr Farley lost his mother to breast cancer, Sports Illustrated reported.

"I know he lost his mother at a young age as well," his teammate Kevin Byard said.

"He's dealt with a lot of adversity. It's very tragic. It's an unimaginable tragedy."