Neighbor of Zavalla home explosion victims: 'The world came apar - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Neighbor of Zavalla home explosion victims: 'The world came apart'

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff

Witnesses at the scene of a Zavalla house explosion said the scene looked more like the scene of a tornado.

According to Zavalla Fire Chief Chris Wade, firefighters were called out to a home in the 200 block of Pleasure Drive right around 6 am. Several 911 calls referenced what sounded like a propane explosion.

"It was just a huge explosions," one caller said. "We just went out on our patio, and we can hear somebody yelling, but we are not sure where it happened."

The explosion was even heard up to five miles away inside the Zavalla city limits.

"I'm out here at the Eagle's Nest," a 911 caller said.  "We just heard a loud explosion, and I was tying to see what was going on."

Wade said Lyle Raymond West, 82, was flown to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and Elaine Reinhardt West, 83, was taken to a hospital in Lufkin after a . Spokespeople for the two hospitals said Raymond West is in critical condition, and Elaine West is in fair condition.

"It's a pretty big debris field,"Wade said. "Multiple structures are damaged. There are even some structures damaged on the next street over. There's debris up in the trees and all the way back to the lake."

Wade said the lake is almost 400 yards from the home. Wade believes around five different homes had damage. One of those homes belonged to Jim McKnight.

"I was sitting in my living room having my coffee and my sweet roll, and then the world come apart," McKnight said."It was a very heavy explosion and everything moved. The walls moved. I came out and around, and I saw that the house was gone. I could hear Mr. and Mrs. West yelling. Mr. West over in the house and her out the back."

McKnight said he and a neighbor then started to try and help. McKnight said his neighbor ran over and pulled out the husband while McKnight looked over the wife.

"She was blown out of the house, and she was hurt but not like him," McKnight said. "He was really hurt."

Wade said the State Fire Marshal's Office is currently investigating the scene to determine what may have cause the possible propane leak.

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