West nursing home residents looking for a home - KXXV Central Texas News Now

West nursing home residents looking for a home


Elderly residents are looking for a home after the West explosion destroys their nursing home.

130 people were in the Rest Haven nursing home in West Wednesday night when the explosion hit. Amazingly, not a single one have been reported dead since that fateful night. But each person has a story to tell.

"I was pinned down with that sheet rock, I couldn't move it, I said Jack, we gotta call for help," nursing home resident Hellen Chambers said. 

"A big slab of sheet rock fell down and if it hadn't cushioned the next blow, I'd be gone," nursing home resident Elizabeth Mann said. 

Mann says she was reading the bible when the explosion hit. She says after a period of time that seemed like hours a voice called in asking if she needed help. She said the volunteer had to help someone else but left the dog with her. Mann says that meant the world because she wasn't alone.

But what she remembers the most is a man who helped her get out of the phone. By calming her down and telling her to take one step at a time, the man helped her get out of the wreckage. 

"Thank you for saving my life and I'll try to live a good life from here on in your honor," Mann said. 

Now Mann and Chambers are staying at Atrium Nursing home in north Waco. They're two of 27 that have come over from West. Currently the nursing home is full with 124 beds filled and they have a waiting list. But employees from the West nursing home are also displaced. 

"We were able to hire some of their employees to come in and work with the residents they had with them to help make it more familiar with these people who have been displaced. They'll have folks they know taking care of them and that was important to us to do too," Dianne Taylor said, an administrator at The Atrium. 

The nursing home plans to let seven people go home to families leaving some room for more people next week. 

However, even with all the injuries, all the damage, no one in the nursing home has been reported as killed. And residents say that's just incredible. 

"Thank goodness that Jack and I are alright, we could've been killed instantly," Chambers said. 

 "It was a miracle, that many people and not a death," Mann said. 

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