MANCHESTER Huddled in the corner of a makeshift shelter at America’s Keswick, Ellsworth and Eva Losey clutched their prescription medicine bottles and munched on the remains of a box lunch.
“We’re counting our blessings today,” Eva Losey, 79, said Wednesday. “It’s a miracle no one got killed.”
Nearby, Mary Beckley, 83, fidgeted with her white bathrobe and tried to get comfortable on a small metal cot.
“We have a lot to be thankful for today,” she said. “We could have been blown to smithereens.”
The Loseys and Beckley were among 243 people forced to evacuate their apartments at the Keswick Pines Lifecare facility late Tuesday night after an explosion in a second-story boiler room.
Police said Wednesday that Ronald Holt of Toms River was attempting to reignite the boiler in the building’s propane gas system when the explosion happened.
Holt, 58, was taken to the burn unit at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was listed in stable condition Wednesday. He is expected to remain at the hospital for two weeks, police said.
“We need to talk to him to determine the cause of the explosion,” said Manchester police Detective Joseph Hankins, who was investigating the site Wednesday morning. “But he is very heavily medicated now, so that will wait.”