ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A powerful explosion rocked a South Albany apartment after a family set off nine roach foggers, then left. And it's a good thing they left.
All those fumes ignited a pilot light on the stove and triggered a blast so intense that it lifted the roof off the building on Gadsden Drive.
To hear John Brown tell it, never in his 85 years had he ever seen anything quite like what he saw this morning. An explosion ripped through his apartment. "Never in my life, boy. Never in my life..."
Shards of glass littered the front yard. The windows blown out by a blast so powerful, it moved the roof. And had it been just minutes earlier, Brown and his niece would have been inside..
"Less than five minutes, because I had him stand outside and wait for me." Before Mary Wade left to take her uncle to the doctor, she set off a roach fogger. The stove pilot light ignited the fumes and caused the explosion. "As we opened the door to get in the car, all the glass hit us in the back. Boom! Like a bomb."
"That was it. when I saw that it was still daylight and we still with each other, I turned around and this is what I saw."
An apartment in shambles. Firefighters sifted through Browns apartment gathering what few items they could. While his apartment is destroyed, he credits eight-and-a-half decades of faith in a higher power for narrowly avoiding what would have likely been death for him and his niece.
"You ain't kidding honestly. Me and her both could have been in there. Look at that right there and tell what would have happened if you had been since that house. We would be gone. We would be gone. It's just God's will that we're not gone."
It's clear someone was looking out for this uncle and his niece, a niece whose home he'll now be sharing.
None of the other units at the Dennis Homes complex were damaged.
Firefighters say the family should have never set off nine of the roach bombs at one time. That's three times the number recommended by the manufacturer.
The Housing Authority plans to send letters to residents reminding them of the dangers of using flammable products.
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