Smithville family miraculously escapes after house explodes off foundation

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SMITHVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — Neighbors are rallying to try and help a local family that somehow miraculously escaped from their home after it literally exploded off of its foundation on Sunday.

Smithville firefighters were called to Honeytown Road just after 11 a.m. Central Fire District Chief Mark Burns was there within two minutes after the call and says flames were already shooting from the home, with debris from the explosion scattered throughout the yard.

“Any time you have an explosion in a home, there’s chaos, there’s a lot of embers. There were articles of the house in the yard and you could definitely tell it popped itself off of its foundation,” said Burns.

Neighbors, including Dan Teakemple were jolted by the blast.

Orrville Fire Department photo

“Sunday morning, we were having coffee sitting there and we heard a big boom and I turned to my wife, it was raining, and said, ‘Is that thunder?’ She said, ‘No, it sounded like an explosion,'” said Teakemple.

Orrville Firefighters were immediately summoned to help.

“We noticed on the garage door it blew the garage door, the man door, it blew that completely off the house,” said Orrville Fire Chief Chris Bishop.

Teakemple says as soon as they realized there had been an explosion, he and his wife rushed to see what had happened and saw their neighbors, the Sanders family, including their children, already outside of their home.

“I saw them running out of the house and yelled at them to make sure is everybody OK? Is there anybody in the house? and they were like, ‘No, the house just blew up,'” said Teakemple.

“This is one of those fires that had it happened at nighttime, the outcome would have been different,” Burns said. “The husband was able to get the children and his wife out quick and received assistance from the neighbors, had a place to go.”

Firefighters say the damage is extensive.  

WJW photo

They attempted to save a family dog that was still inside but realized they couldn’t after the floor collapsed into the basement.

Neighbors offered the Sanders family shelter immediately and are now doing what they can to help.

Teakemple has started a GoFundMe page realizing the Sanders have lost everything.

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