West residents deciding whether or not to rebuild - KXXV Central Texas News Now


West residents deciding whether or not to rebuild


West residents are getting back near the explosion site, and many are trying to decide if they'll keep their homes.

The second phase has begun to let people back into their homes. Residents between Walnut St and Spring St can see what the damage from the explosion. 

Mandy Jares lives just off of Spring street. Along with her husband, she cleaned up her home on Wednesday. She says the damage is so extensive they it probably should not be rebuilt. But looking back, she says she's lucky to be alive.  Jares was actually outside taking a picture of the fire before the explosion. When it hit, she was blown 20 feet across the yard. 

"I stand here and I look at that wall and I think if it did that how was I able to even get in and go inside to get my son to safety, it's incredible," Jares said. 

Jares' 10 year old son was in his room at the time. Incredibly, he was not injured. Jares says when she got up after the explosion, she immediately thought of her son and went straight to him. 

"When he tells it, he says momma I didn't know what was happening but I heard you call my name and I knew you were okay. So he was worried about me and I was worried about him," Jares said. 

Shattered glass covers the entire home, nails are pushed out of the ceiling, glass is stuck in the walls and pieces of the ceilings clutter rooms of the house. It's a house just devastated by the explosion.

Jares says she will not try to rebuild the home, partly because they rented it, but she says she will stay in West.

"We definitely want to stay here, this is our home, this is the town we were born and raised in, grew up in our whole lives in it's where all of our memories and of course we want that for our kids too."

Other families, though, do want to rebuild their homes. Dorothy Kucera lives one house away from Spring St. She has damage all around her home, but says she will rebuild.

 "We started out with it and we added on as the kids grew and that's the reason why I want to keep it. I put a lot of hard work into it," Kucera said.

"It's your home," reporter.

"It's my home and I want to keep it and it was fortunate that I could," Kucera said. 

Kucera says she inherited the home next door from her mom. She says that house probably saved maybe her life and damage to her home by blocking some of the blast. She says her mom is still watching over her.

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