"Thanks to all our friends and family for all that they've done for us."
Words cannot express how Bradley Thompson and his wife Megan feel after they lost everything they own when their home exploded Wednesday afternoon.
Bradley was home when he started smelling natural gas. At first he shrugged it off, because contractors were doing work right outside and the smell wasn't so strong, but things took a turn for the worse. He said the smell got stronger, a gurgling sound was coming from his kitchen sink, and he started to get a headache.
"I decided to take the puppies and go to the garage where the odor wouldn't be as strong," Thompson said.
Not too long after he had reached his garage, his home exploded.
"There was an incredible force, and thankfully I was able to escape when the garage door was blown open," he said.
"A very loud explosion."
That's what Bushnell fire chief and neighbor Brent Glisan heard Wednesday afternoon. Glisan lives right behind the Thompsons. He said the entire house was engulfed in a fireball and debris and household items scattered all over the lawn. The fire was so intense, it spread to a neighboring home, gutting it and damaged another. The
Bradley says he's not worried about his possessions. He says those can always be replaced. He's just grateful for his life.
"There could have been seconds that things took place that I could have very easily been anywhere in the house, it's hard telling what kind of catastrophic event would have taken place had I been anywhere else."
For now the Bradley's are on the road to recovery, leaning on friends and family for support, ready to start all over again.
The town was also on alert after gas was detected in several homes, prompting an evacuation. Contractors working on a water main, cut a gas line, causing it to leak. That triggered the explosion.
Residents who lived near the Thompsons were given the all clear to return home. A representative from Bushnell's municipal department was not available for comment. But Fire Chief Brent Glisan tells us the incident is under investigation by the Illinois commerce commission.