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Harrison woman survives home explosion

By Jess Antonio, KTVM Sports Director, jantonio@ktvm.com
Published On: Sep 03 2012 05:39:41 PM MDT
HARRISON, Mont. -

Donald King was standing just feet from his neighbor's Harrison home when it exploded Sunday morning.

"It knocked me back, my landlord ducked for cover, my wife went to the ground," he said.

His thoughts went straight to his neighbor, Laura Lee Sheehan, still inside the house.

"And I took off running when I had debris just flying all by me and stuff as I was hollering call 911, Laura Lee's in there," he recounted,  "we've got to get her out!"

The explosion sent glass, bricks, even the front door flying across the neighborhood.

"When it went up in the air, it ignited, caught on fire, did a mushroom effect, dropped to the ground," said neighbor Bob Terry.

Witnesses say the explosion knocked them back and they watched the house rise 25 feet in the air.

King says he expected the worst.

"I just knew she was dead. That's my first thought is that she's dead, I'm going to find her dead," he explained.

But Laura Lee survived, King and another man began digging through what remained of the home.

"We was trying to get this big, heavy like a wall part off of her and she was pinned up under all the rubble and debris," King said.

Sheehan's friends say she suffered burns over 60% of her body,broke ribs and almost lost a leg.  She's being treated at the burn center in Salt Lake City.

To keep track of Laura Lee's progress, or find out how you may be able to help with her recovery click here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lauraleesheehan