Onondaga, MI – A mother and three daughters, who miraculously escaped injury Monday when their Onondaga home blew up, are counting on grace of a different sort.
An emergency fund has been set up for Lecia Doles and her four children — ages 8, 10, 11, and 18 — after a gas explosion leveled their home at 4615 Hunt Road.
Shortly before 4 a.m., Onondaga firefighters — whose station No. 2 was next door — found the mother and three daughters unharmed and the wood-frame home completely engulfed in flames.
Doles’ 10-year-old daughter, Brittanie, had asked to sleep in her mother’s bed that night, saying she was scared. Fortunately for the girl, the mother relented.
“Her bed ended up in the basement, so God was definitely watching over her,” Lecia Doles said.
The single-wide trailer, which had an addition built on, was insured. However, the coverage wasn’t likely to address personal belongings and irreplaceable heirlooms.
The family also lost two cats and a dog.
The girls, who include two foster children, Shae, 8, and Laprecia, 11, were scheduled to start school today at Leslie Public Schools. Doles also has an 18-year-old son, who was not at home.
On Monday, Doles and her daughters were staying with friends in Rives Junction. A fund was set up through Doles’ workplace, Homestead Savings Bank in Leslie.
Fire investigators were at a loss to explain what caused the gas explosion, which came from the basement.
The blast leveled the roof and blew out the walls, throwing the 8- and 11-year-olds out onto the lawn, said Doles, who initially thought the explosion was due to a lightning strike or tree falling on the home.
Doles and her 10-year-old daughter were able to exit through a doorway before a second explosion, which produced flames that consumed the home.
“When it blew, it basically made kindling out of the structure,” Onondaga Fire Chief Gene Tidd said.
The Leslie and Mason fire departments assisted.