A home in Waukee was lifted several feet off the ground after a gas explosion, trapping an elderly woman inside. Firefighters are calling the woman's survival a miracle.
If not for the quick actions of her neighbors, they say she would have died inside her home. It happened just after 8 a.m. this morning in Waukee at the intersection of 7th and Cherry. The Waukee fire chief says a gas leak caused one of the biggest explosions he's ever seen.
Neighbors, firefighters, and police officers worked quickly and efficiently.
“I was just driving by and I heard this boom,” said neighbor Christi Ann Miceli.
The boom shook the entire neighborhood, and the explosion blew the home several feet in the air, landing lopsided and torn in half.
Neighbors quickly gathered outside waiting anxiously as police pulled into the driveway. Police were able to grab resident Tracy from inside the house just in time. Tracy recently had a stroke and relies on her dog Maddie for comfort and cheer, but Maddie didn’t make it out with Tracy.
“She was trying to have us go back into the house to get her dog, we said no way we can go,” said Police Officer Clint Robinson.
Firefighters had to saw their way through walls to get to the fire; the structure was too unstable to fight inside. The minutes ticked by, but still, no sign of Maddie.
“It was over an hour into the incident the fact that the dog was alive really surprising to us.” said Robinson.
The day - defied all kinds of odds.
Hours later, Tracy clutched Maddie, determined to never let go again.
The fire was started by a gas leak, but how it started is still under investigation.