Woman gets unlikely help during rescue from explosion - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Woman gets unlikely help during rescue from explosion

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SISSONVILLE, West Virginia -

When you look at the devastation in the area where the explosion happened in Sissonville Tuesday it is almost hard to believe that anyone could have survived.

Sue Bonham lives very close to the gas line that exploded. She was going about her daily routine that day. She had just received a call from Trudy Weaver, an employee at Jeff's Appliances in Nitro. She was on the phone scheduling some maintenance on an appliance when the explosion happened.

"The heat was so intense and she was just afraid to get out and we kept telling her she needed to get outside," Weaver recounted about the phone call.

Sue's husband Dickie Bonham was out on a hunting trip at the time. She was home alone. So she asked Weaver to stay on the phone with her until help arrived.

Bonham could hear debris coming through her ceiling. She hid under a table and then fled outside to escape the heat. She ran to a back corner of her fenced in yard and built a barrier of bricks to protect herself. Weaver says Bonham was also considering jumping in her pool if the heat became any more intense.

Dennis Jeffrey also works at Jeff's Appliances and talked to Sue during the ordeal.

"You are having visions of different things that are going on with people in that circumstance," Jeffrey said. "She was communicating asking us to try to get in touch with her husband and her daughter and tell them that she loves them."

Jeffrey is a retired Charleston firefighter. He called in to let first responders know where Sue was hiding.

"I told them if they could to communicate with that engine company to let them know where Mrs. Bonham was and what her circumstance was," Jeffrey explained.

Jeffrey and Weaver said the 45 minutes or so they spent on the phone with Bonham seemed like days. She told them about the intense heat and things melting all around her.

But then the moment they weren't sure would come in time.

"The firemen took over the phone and said that they had gotten her," Jeffrey said, as he recalled the moment he and Weaver heard that she was safe.

Bonham received only minor injuries.