Pageland, NC – A woman who survived a natural gas explosion that leveled her Charlotte home described the ordeal Wednesday in her first television interview since the deadly blast.
Courtney Chambers, 22, suffered second-degree burns and broke her left leg when she was thrown from the home during last weeks explosion. She was released Tuesday from Carolinas Medical Center.
Chambers infant daughter, Synora Coleman, was killed in last Thursdays blast on Wellingford Street, near North Tryon and West Sugar Creek Road.
The childs father, SylMyles Demecio Coleman, 25, was also injured and remains hospitalized at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
I keep closing my eyes and think how could I save my baby, could I grab her and have her close to me, Chambers said in an interview Wednesday at her parents home in Pageland, S.C.
She said she remembers hearing the explosion and wiping away debris from her eyes. Her legs were pinned under boards and bricks, and she could not move her leg.
I dont know what happened, but I know what was happening (before the explosion) while I was there, she said.
Fire investigators have not said what caused the explosion, but authorities believe it was fueled by a natural gas leak.
Chambers said a maintenance worker, hired by her landlord, was at the home about two hours before the blast.
She said the worker was examining the homes gas-fired water heater and lit the heaters pilot light.
He left a short time later, Chambers said.
A telephone message left for the landlord, Edward Clay, was not returned Wednesday.
Fire department spokesman Capt. Mark Basnight said he could not confirm Chambers account of events or whether the water heater is believed to have played a role in the explosion.
A makeshift memorial of stuffed animals, candles and flowers sat in front of the rubble of the demolished home Wednesday evening.
Chambers said she had not returned to the scene to see if any of her belongings could be salvaged.
Its not real to me. I dont want to see it, she said. I just want it to be a dream and somebody to wake me up.