TN – 65 year old Betty Bailey and her husband Ralston wanted to prepare for the freezing temperatures Tuesday night…so for the first time this year, they turned on their propane heater.
“About 11:00 last night, they were literally blown out of bed and thought that it was a horrible earthquake,” says the couples daughter, Temple Gentry.
The blast on Quarry Road leveled the Bailey’s two businesses- a hair salon that had been open for 35 years- and an antique shop right next door. The couples home also was damaged.
“All the antiques are gone, mom’s beauty shop is gone. I just thank god Mom and Dad are okay,” Gentry says.
The Fire Department believes that the Bailey’s propane tank had a leak which filled the beauty shop up with gas. When the hot water heater kicked on it set off a spark- which then set off the explosion.
The earth-shaking boom woke up neighbors from miles away. Some called the Polk County Sheriff’s Department to report the noise.
Albert Kemp lives 3 miles away.
“I was just dozing off when I felt the trailer shake…like something bumped into the trailer,” he says.
“It’s amazing that it could do that and nobody get hurt really …it had to be a good blowing. They said they heard it ten miles,” says a friend of the family Franky Enriques.
Temple Gentry says her mother and father are devastated and confused —as to how their entire life’s work could be wiped out in such a violent accident.