Explosion victim's family praying for recovery - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Explosion victim's family praying for recovery


NEAR CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) -- A Woodbury County man received serious burns Thursday afternoon when he was trying to light a water heater and his home exploded.

It happened around 3:00 yesterday afternoon just a few miles south of Correctionville, Iowa. Authorities believe a propane leak may have sparked the blast. Sixty-year-old Thomas Roark suffered third degree burns to much of his body.

Today, most of Thomas Roark's family was by his side in Omaha where he's being treated. But earlier today, a few friends and family members were at his home near Correctionville to try and salvage anything they could.

"As long as he's okay, that's all that counts," said Roark's mother-in-law Bernie Schubert.

Thomas Roark's son-in-law and mother-in-law manage to salvage a grandson's favorite blanket from his home that was mangled by an explosion Thursday afternoon.

"They just had remodeled the whole house with all new cupboards and so it is disheartening," said Schubert.

There's entire windows blown yards from the house and the destruction inside looks like a tornado thundered straight through the Roark home. But even with all this, family members say it's not their main concern right now.

"You know, those material things we can replace. And now all we gotta do is pray for Tom that he comes through this," said Schubert.

Now know one really knows how but the most amazing thing about this story is that Tom Roark was able to pull himself out of this wrecked home after the explosion.

"It's a miracle, it's an act of God really, that he got out," said Schubert.

He then got in his car, drove 6 miles, some on gravel road, to the Mercy Medical Clinic in Correctionville, he's now in Omaha. His family members say he's been put into a coma by doctors.

"He had 3rd degree burns from he's knees down and on his arms and his face was burnt some but they didn't think as severely as his arms and legs," said Schubert.

And since a few years ago Roark had suffered a stroke, his mother-in-law says she knows he'll fight with all he has.

"Oh he's strong, he's strong, he's done so much with his stroke because everyone thought he'd never be able to do anything and he's able to do millions of things," said Schubert.

And with miracles like Roarks pulling himself out of this tangled wreckage, family members say they're leaving their faith with God to help pull Thomas through.

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