Evacuated family: Things could have been much worse in Gilbert b - CBS 5 - KPHO

Evacuated family: Things could have been much worse in Gilbert blast

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(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
GILBERT, AZ (CBS5) -

After spending three nights in a hotel Lisa Holden, her husband and the rest of the family are finally back home. 

But one quick look outside will tell you things are far from normal.

"They gave us earplugs when we got back," said Holden.

On Sunday, Holden's neighbor Jason Nelson was burned over 80 percent of his body when he lit a cigarette and his garage exploded. Officials with Southwest Gas say it was due to a natural gas leak.

Holden told CBS 5 News she didn't hear the blast, but did hear Nelson screaming.

"He must have been in such agony. It was just horrible to hear," said Holden.

Another neighbor was able to pull Nelson out of his garage. Medics rushed him to the hospital.

"I thought everything was over and then all of a sudden we're being told to leave on foot with whatever we could carry," said Holden.

That forced the family to leave several animals behind.

"We couldn't drive. We couldn't have a delivery of food for the pets. That's been the hardest part," said Holden.

But with that said Holden knows what she and her husband went through has been trivial in comparison.

"It's not about the inconvenience for us. It's about a man who got hurt badly and his family, his wife, his kids. I just think it's really important that people donate and help his family," said Holden.

 As of Wednesday night, six homes remained evacuated in the subdivision near Val Vista and Warner Road.

Southwest Gas officials said they are getting closer to figuring out what caused the explosion.

Crews know it didn't have anything to do with any digging on any of the properties in the area.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Evacuated family: Things could have been much worse in Gilbert blastMore>>

  • UPDATE

    Sidebar: Gilbert explosion

    Thursday, May 8 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-05-08 13:01:59 GMT
    6 homes still evacuated (2/11/14) Gilbert home blast causes evacuations (2/19/14)More >
    6 homes still evacuated (2/11/14) Gilbert home blast causes evacuations (2/19/14)More >
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