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Meadow Wind Recovering From Gas Explosion; Cause Still Unknown


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Fire authorities are still investigating the explosion Friday at meadow wind assisted living, officials say gas was present but they still don't know what ignited the fumes. Two people were sent to the hospital as a result of the explosion. The resident who fell during the evacuation only suffered minor injuries.
Meanwhile a family member of the plumber who suffered second-degree burns tells News 13 he is recovering in Colorado and is now breathing and drinking water on his own as of last night, but this could've been a lot worse for everybody involved.
This was the scene Friday shortly after the gas explosion at Meadow Wind assisted living. The incident was certainly unexpected, but executive director Rob Lempka said they were always prepared for it.
Lempka said, "We do fire drills on a monthly basis. Nobody likes them, but when it comes to something like this; everyone loves them."
Lempka normally works at Park Place Assisted Living, where fifty of the Meadow Wind residents were relocated. He said the facility was completely evacuated in just 10 minutes; three minutes under their time limit.
Lempka said, "We did get the building evacuated so quickly."
Now that the residents have all moved back in to Meadow Wind, Lempka said a couple of the residents aren't in their normal living spaces and that is priority number one.
Lempka said, "We're taking care of them, they're being fed, they're getting their meds and everything, its just we'd like to get them back in their home and hopefully that will happen in the next day or two."
The only thing delaying that is waiting for the rooms to dry. The worst damage from the explosion is water damage from the sprinklers, but staff members at the facility said residents are patient.
Tammy Avey, a Meadow Wind employee said, "I haven't heard no negative feedback at all since I come back into work today. They've all been understanding and calm about it and really great actually."
Avey said part of this is the communication between the staff and residents.
Avey said, "We kept them updated on every step that's going on here."
But right now, nobody knows the whole story.
Lempka said, "We don't know what happened. It's all under investigation. We don't know the ignition source, we know there was gas in the room, and that's all we really know."
The injured resident is back in the care of Meadow Wind and the building suffered no structural damage. However, they can not make certain repairs until the investigation is closed.


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