The father of Tennessee Titans cornerback Caleb Farley, Robert Farley, died in an explosion at a house owned by the NFL player late Monday night, according to Kent Green, Director of Fire Services and Emergency Management for Iredell County. He was 61.
Farley, 24, was not present at the house at the time of the explosion, but another unidentified male was injured, according to officials. He was taken to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, with non-life-threatening injuries. Queen City News reported Farley was with his family speaking to authorities at the scene Tuesday morning.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation but foul play is not suspected, according to the Iredell County Fire Marshal’s Office. Neighbors told Queen City News they smelled gas and heard "a loud explosion" around 11:55 p.m. Monday. Authorities claim the house was completely leveled by the explosion.
“The 6,391-square-foot home is a total loss,” Iredell County Emergency Management told USA Today.
Farley reportedly lived at the house for less than a year and records show the house was listed for around $2.05 million in 2022, per The Tennessean.
UPDATE: Iredell Emergency Management confirms the man who died in the explosion was Robert Farley.
Caleb Farley is here with his family and friends as they begin to sift through what is left of his home. pic.twitter.com/ZWQGAkLrBR
— Claire Kopsky (@ClaireMKopsky) August 22, 2023
Farley also lost his mother to breast cancer in 2018 during his time at Virginia Tech.
'He was a stand-up guy'
Later that day, Farley and more than 100 members of the community gathered to memorialize Farley's father outside Superior Barber Styling Center, a barbershop the Farley family owned since 1999, according to Queen City News.
Farley spoke to the media at this event and, in an emotional interview, called his father "a stand-up guy" and added that "he raised me to be a stand-up guy."
— Queen City News (@Queen_City_News) August 22, 2023
“I’ve had a pretty wild past five years, six years. I’m a fighter, though,” Farley said. “I just lean on my faith. That’s all I can do. That’s all I got.
“I’m thankful my parents were well-respected in my community. They were very loved. God-fearing men and women. You know that it’s always a plus to have positive role models to raise me.”
Mike Vrabel, Titans players offer support
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel quickly acknowledged the tragedy after practice Tuesday. He noted the most important thing he and the team do is be there for Farley and his family.
"Everything else is pretty trivial," Vrabel added.
Running back Derrick Henry and edge rusher Harold Landry echoed Vrabel's sentiments after they heard the news.
Fellow defensive back Kevin Byard, whose mother died this past summer, offered his condolences and advice on how to handle the loss of a parent.
— Kayla Anderson ✨ (@KaylaAndersonTV) August 22, 2023
The Titans drafted Farley with the No. 22 pick in 2021. Farley has played in 12 career games after he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 6 of his rookie year and season-ending herniated disk in Week 10 of the 2022 season.