A decade ago, Harebell Childress was bathing when lightning hit his home and

set it on fire.

He escaped unscathed, wearing only a towel, and rebuilt his house.

Earlier this week, he was watching television when an explosion burned the

house down. He got out with just cuts on his forehead and a sore back and left


“I tell you, the Lord did it,” the 70-year-old retired Pontiac school

principal told The Oakland Press. “I was surrounded by a host of angels.”

The odds of surviving two such disasters are so remote, actuaries for one

Detroit-area insurer said they couldn’t calculate the likelihood, the Detroit

Free Press reported.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” said Sgt. Robert Gohl of the Oakland County

Sheriff’s Department Fire Investigation Unit.

The blast remains under investigation, but it appears the Tuesday night

explosion resulted from a propane leak. The house’s furnace, water heater and

stove ran on propane, Gohl said.

The explosion blew out the windows of the home and collapsed the roof. Cinder

blocks were blown hundreds of feet (meters) out into a field. The couch was

knocked over.

“I thought it was a bomb, like terrorism or something,” said Childress’

niece, Marva Hanks, who lives nearby. “We’re a family of believers. We’ve seen

miracles on this property before.”