Some of you may have seen it on the national news. Some of you live here in Oklahoma City and heard the blast for yourself. This weekend has been one for the books as far as I'm concerned.
At 3:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, my husband and I shot up from our bed as a loud sound boomed through our home. A split second later, our home alarm squealed through the air as the previous noise had triggered the 'break glass' function near our back door.
What we didn't know then was that deafening noise that filled our house was the result of a gas explosion only a street or two away. The impact shook the back of our home, triggering our alarm and shaking loose some of our framing and exterior.
As I crept through the dark interior of our house, my husband talked the alarm company through what we heard not knowing if it was an intruder or something else. They said they'd send out a cruiser, but without the siren as our concern was that it would wake the neighbors.
Within seconds, we heard a multitude of sirens quickly approaching and quizzically looked to one another wondering if they were on their way to our house. However, when what seemed to be about a hundred police cruisers and fire trucks rushed to our area, we soon realized this was much bigger than our house.
My husband stepped out to join the other neighbors, who were filtering to their yards hoping for more information. As he turned to look over his shoulder toward our home, he was shocked to see amber flames burning giving our roofline a glowing profile.
From my vantage point, I saw attic insulation and roof shingles falling from the sky all over our cars and lawn. The immediate concern was - where was the fire and how close was it to my home? Did we need to evacuate?
My other half, as wise as he is, immediately came inside - checked our pilot light to make sure it was still lit and turned off the heater. He then loaded us all up just in case the gas leak wasn't just a one-time event. In his mind, one explosion could have lead to others, and the last thing he wanted was to expose us to a dangerous home where another explosion could spark.
At this point, we have some damage that will need some extensive work, but at least, our home is livable. We didn't lose it and were not injured. For that we're grateful, however to date - ONG has not set up a hotline or given an official statement for the cause. They've admitted to having a couple of trucks in the area fixing a gas leak but have said they're doing a thorough investigation of the cause before releasing a statement.
I respect that they want a definitive answer before plunging forward. I get it. But it would be nice to give the residents in this area a hotline so we can get in touch with someone or, at least, be able to leave a message.
As it is now, our state is expecting some rain on Thursday and I need to get my roof and the side of my home tarped off, so we don't add water damage inside to the list of things to fix. However, with all that we have to do - we are still so much better off than the ones closest to the blast ... and of course than the house which was leveled.
The man who was renting that particular home was thrown from his mattress and miraculously escaped with some 1st and 2nd-degree burns. All I can do is shake my head in amazement that he survived and thank God that his protective hand was over all involved.
You all know I'm a big believer in God's blessings through the chaos we call life. SO what's the silver lining in the explosion that rocked my neighborhood? Well, the obvious is that our home was only damaged and not the one leveled or blown to bits.
BUT the biggest blessing is that we were able to pray for those in the directly affected area in the back of my husband's truck. As my son squeezed his eyes tight and folded his hands, we asked God to spare the people in that home. When we found out the man who lived there survived and then saw the house - we were shocked. It seemed physically impossible for anyone to survive that! But God is in the business of the impossible every day! He not only answered our prayers but kept the injuries down to a minimum. It could have been so much worse.
It was truly a miraculous event and a great lesson for my kid, in that no matter how scared he is (and he was shaken up big time) - God is there in the midst bringing us through.
ALSO - a big thank you goes out to fire station #34 (There may have been more firehouses in the community, but I only saw #34 on my street) and the OKC Police Dept for their immediate response and swift action to protect our little hood. We appreciate ALL OF YOU.