DAWSON (CBSDFW.COM) – Friends are giving thanks that five people survived a house explosion in Navarro County, and now investigators are trying to get to the bottom of what went wrong.
It wasn’t until daylight arrived that Richard Raines got a clear look at what he found when he was one of the first neighbors to get to the house after the explosion.
“Terrifying thing about it is when you come up here and you can see that, wonder if you’re going to find them alive,” Raines said.
Police said 88-year-old Dwain Spruiell and his wife Cathy were inside the house with three of Cathy’s relatives when something caused the explosion.
It was Cathy’s brother, 81-year-old William Gilcoat and his wife Sandra whom Raines found first.
“We knocked a window frame out. Two firemen jumped in there and helped them up through the window, and we helped them out the window,” Raines said.
After that the hunt was on to find the others. That’s when Raines and his family members made their way inside.
“Everything’s turned over. The ceiling’s down, insulation everywhere. It was a mess,” Raines said.
Neighbors helped first responders get the rest out of the house. Investigators have not determined a cause but an early focus is the home’s propane tank that Raines says was recently a concern for the Spruiells.
“They had been complaining of smelling gas, and so they had a plumber out, and I guess they thought they got it fixed. Maybe they didn’t get it fixed or whatever, or maybe in fixing that problem, they created another one. You never can tell,” Raines said
The fire marshal said it isn’t safe to send investigators inside, so they will wait until they can remove the roof, probably early next week.