Bollinger Co. family picks up the pieces after house explosion

Bollinger Co. family picks up the pieces after house explosion
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)

BOLLINGER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - It's a scene out of a nightmare.

A house exploded on County Road 852 in Bollinger County on Saturday, April 9 and shook the earth around it. People in the surrounding areas of Marble Hill, Patton and beyond said they thought the explosion they heard was an earthquake.

"It's kind of a weird thing," Brad Brock said. "You don't ever expect it. You hear and see about it but you don't really ever expect it to happen."

After the explosion, pieces of the house were scattered everywhere, from across the street, down the street, and even up in the trees. The blast was so powerful it even shifted a basement wall.

"It had to be a big force," Brock said. "I mean the basement wall that's surrounded by earth was moved out. The force of it. The front door, if you look at where the front of the house would have been, it's over here on the other side of the road."

A family of four were living in the home, but luckily were at a wedding when the explosion occurred. Brock described the family as a happily married couple with two young children.

"They actually were going to come over here last night, but it was getting late and they just thought they would wait until today," Brock said. "They started talking that they'd come over here last night. That's the first thing they would have done was walked in the front door and hit the switch."

Brock's daughter lived inside the home with her husband and their two children. Brock said when he first heard what happened, fear set in and he started calling his loved ones right away.

"The first thing you always think of is your family and hope everything is okay with them," Brock said. "You got to be thankful. The important things are okay. Life is much more important than material possessions."

The cause of the explosion was due to a gas leak inside the home. Brock believes that gas filled the home, and once the furnace kicked on, that's when the explosion occurred.

"It's real and everything is everywhere," he said. "I mean, there's stuff strewn all over the place, up in the trees, across roads and back in the fields. Yeah it's one of those things where you get a real good look at it's, you know, here we go."

Brock feels lucky and is more than happy that his family wasn't at home Saturday night.

"That's where some of the emotions come in," Brock said. "You start thinking, 'oh man! What if you walked in and flipped the light switch.' That would have been your loved one. That's when things kind of hit inside you and you go man, that could have been worse!"

As the family searched through the rubble trying to salvage what they could, the realization of all that was lost began to set in.

"My youngest granddaughter, she was all concerned about her spotted horse," Brock said. "She said I'll never get to see it again, her play one. Well we found it over there in the rubble. It's broken. The mane and the tail is burned off."

Brock said the family is receiving a lot of support and has a place to stay as they continue to move forward.

Every piece picked up at the home now is a newly formed memory of what once was. Whether it be toys, pictures or any other sentimental item, the family is counting their blessings and say they will try overcome this.

"You go through the emotions of basically you lose everything," Brock said. "You don't know what you have. You got two children and all the things that mean things to you. Pictures that they drew and the toys and just all kinds of stuff."

In the meantime, the Missouri State Fire Marshal and the North Bollinger County Fire Department are investigating the house explosion. They, along with Marble Hill Fire Department, responded to the scene late Saturday evening.

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