I reviewed the Los Angeles Times story "Indianapolis house explosion kills two, destroys neighborhood" where numbers were used in a few different ways.
The reporter used numbers to tell the story by informing readers how many people were injured or killed, approximately what time the explosion happened, approximately how many homes were damaged or destroyed, and the approximate cost in damages.
The numbers aren't overwhelming but rather helpful because they add to the story, allowing readers to get a grasp on the amount of damage. No math appears to have been done on this story.
The source of the numbers are from common knowledge of knowing the area, Indianapolis Fire Department officials, and spokesman for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Marc Lotter.