'Life is forever changed,' Flint resident says as the area copes with the aftermath of a house explosion
Nicole Mills was searching for The Golden Girls photos on her mobile Monday night when she was under intense pressure.
Mills would not have known what was going on next in his home town of Hogarth Avenue.
All I could do was close my eyes and brace for it, she said. When I opened my eyes, everything was pitch black. All of the power was out. I hear my girlfriend screaming down the hallway. She was in bed.
Mills sped down the hallway through the darkness, crying out for their two dogs Bailey, a pit/shih-tzu mix, and Gunter, a miniature schnauzer.
The home of their neighbor, two lots to the west, was just exploded.
Mills said the police had started to scream from the street to evacuate, but she was scrambled to retrieve her keys.
The windows on the west side of her home were gone, in shards on the floor throughout her house along with anything hanging from the wall or resting on tables.
Mills said at that time, it was a trauma response. It felt like I was in a tornado, so my house looked like it was in a tornado, he said. It was a concussive blast, so I was immediately confused. My right ear was ringing, and still is. I probably lost some hearing in that ear.
We each took a car and left our third car in the driveway. And we got out of there. There were fires everywhere, and I just kept saying, We gotta go, we gotta go, we gotta go.... My life is forever changed.
Mills was unable to get inside for heirlooms, her wallet, or other items until she arrived back home in the morning.
Ray Rush, a neighbor of her own, was very grateful to her for visiting her.
Mills said he was so pleased to be able to meet him this morning.
The entire block where Mills and Rush live in Flint's 8th Ward has been displaced due to an explosion that killed a 70-year-old and left a 3-year-old missing, as well as a mother and his father being injured.
The explosion destroyed three homes in the neighborhood.
Rush was born again Tuesday in the hopes of returning to his home.
Er has lived in the residence for nine years and is a huge fan of his neighborhood.
Rush said he went outside smelling around the edge of his own property before being struck by an explosion.
He drove away from his home and five minutes later received a phone call.
Rush said: Hey, your house is on fire! When he returned, he was in shock. People trying to get out and off the street.
This damper has put me back on my Thanksgiving, but i'm alive, and one of my neighbors (Nicole Mills) is right here too, and she's alive. That's the saving grace of it all.
Rush's home is one of two adjacent homes, one to the east and one to the west, that exploded and were catastrophic due to both being completely engulfed in flames.
This is a tragedy. said Flint City Hall Mayor Sheldon Neeley during a press conference Tuesday. This is a tragedy.
According to Dennis Pfeiffer, the Flint Blight Department is planning to secure the area by shutting off water and boarding up broken windows.
Hand of God Ministries at 3408 Miller Road is also prohibited from giving blankets, water, jackets, and other items that might be helpful to displaced families through this period.
Anyone who has been affected by this situation is encouraged to call the City of Flint at 810-410-2020, or contact the Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties at 810-232-9950.
The United Way of Genesee County has also accepted donations. People may donate directly to the helping of families affected by the explosion.
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