July 25th is a day that changed the lives of three families.
Since then, it’s been a year of first for the Myers. The family re-grouping after an accidental explosion forced them to leave their home of 15 years near 65th and Sprague streets.
Six weeks into living in their new neighborhood, Addilyn Myers, 8, gives KMTV a tour of their new home.
Inside a bedroom she shares with her younger sister, Peyton, 7, she says sometimes she comforts her sibling as they adjust to their new house.
“She's kind of not used to her new house yet and I'm kind of like 'No, this is not the house we're supposed to be in.’”
However, the mother, Jamie Myers, 36, says the new normal look a lot like the old normal, but still – change takes time.
“I think we were all just like in this kind of state of shock – just trying to comprehend what had happened and wondering what we were going to do next and trying to contact our insurance company and get the ball rolling with them.”
Starting over brought on questions like where to live? How to buy everything they've ever owned – again? What to do with the old house?
“We're just trying to stay focused on the fact that it could have been worse and the fact that there was a life that was lost,” Myers says.
The explosion claimed the life of a mother and wife, Clara Bender. The 30-year-old, an employee of Certified Property Management, went to check on the property after an evicted tenant moved out. But a gas line wasn’t shut off and natural gas filled the house. Omaha fire investigators rule the explosion as accidental.
The Myers’ son, Logan, 14, was home alone in the basement when he heard a loud boom – moments later, debris surrounded him as he managed to walk barefoot out of the family’s home with only scrapes and bruises.
As the blast dominated headlines, an unexpected and overwhelming fall-out occurred – but this time involving donations, well wishes, prayers and thoughts.
Almost everything inside is donated or money was given to purchase items, Jamie Myers says.
“Things had kind of tapered off and then my niece had sent me a notification saying there [had] been a $500 donation on your Go Fund Me,” Myers said.
Danielle Camden, founder and CEO of the non-profit Samaritan CSC Inc, raised about $1,500 for the Bender, Myers and Eadie family for each to equally split.
When Camden’s charitable organization helped the Myers, the family paid it forward – right back to Camden and her work.
The community’s overflow of donations overwhelmed the family. So, they donated the excess items to Samaritan.
Recently, Jamie Myers reached out to Camden to step in and help refugee families at her daughter’s elementary school.
Camden says that sort of response is normal.
“Everyone wants to be a part of it,” she says. “We help one family and then in turn they want to help another family.”
The Myes children young but gaining wisdom say their favorite thing about their house is something you can't buy – their family being together – proving there’s a lot to be thankful this Thanksgiving.