By Jack Fink

WEST (CBSDFW.COM) — Syble Bohanan loves her new kitchen and her brand new home in West. “Oh, it’s fantastic, it’s great.”

But it’s not something she and her husband Bo ever wanted.

“I liked the old house, we were fine. We thought we were here forever, going to slide right into gloryland,” said Syble. “But then within 22 minutes, everything changed in West.”

On April 17th of last year, the West Fertilizer plant caught fire and exploded — killing 15 people, and destroying much of the northern part of town.

Bo Bohanan says, “This thing hit, and when it did, it knocked me on the floor. The blast was heck, but the aftershock drew all the oxygen out.”

He says he couldn’t breathe for 45 seconds. “I thought I was going to die.”

More than one month after the blast, the Bohanans’ house was one of many that had to be torn down.

At the time, it was overwhelming for the Bohanans’ daughter Judy Grusendorf to watch.

She cried, “I thought it was hard enough to walk up to it the day after it exploded, but seeing it come down, I know a beautiful home is going to be built on it. I mean just seeing it come down, all the memories that were made growing up, now the grandkids, and great-grandkids.”

It wasn’t much easier for her parents to watch, who built their old house in 1961.

In fact, Syble says she had to walk away.

“I had just parked. I went back to the car because I didn’t want to see it.”

Bo Bohanan says, “I roll with the punches. It hurt, I can’t deny it.”

At 84 and 85 years old, the Bohanans had to start over.

Bo says he let Syble design and decorate the house the way she wanted. “I told her all I want to know is where the bedroom is, that’s about it.”

While relatives wanted them to move to Waco to be closer to them, there was never any doubt they would re-build here. “Wasn’t leaving West. Been here all my life.”

Follow Jack Fink on Twitter: @cbs11jack

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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