Clara Bender-Rinehart's family says she had the biggest heart

Posted at 6:47 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 19:47:05-04

The Omaha Fire Department has released a timeline into the events that led up to a Benson home exploding on Monday.

OFD says on Saturday, the tenant along with the help of friends, removed personal belongings from the home.  They disconnected the dryer from the gas line, allowing gas to flow into the house.

Later that same night, two men who helped the tenant move went back into the home and noticed the smell of natural gas.  They notified the tenant who then left a message for Clara Bender-Rinehart on her work phone late Saturday night.

Natural gas filled the home from Saturday until Monday afternoon when Clara, in her role as home inspector, entered the home.      
The natural gas and air mixed and then came in contact with an ignition source, causing the massive explosion that blew up the home.  Clara was in the kitchen and died.

“We've been more excited about our life in the past couple of years than we have every been in a very long time,” said Jake Rinehart.

Thirty-year-old Clara Bender-Rinehart and her husband Jake have been inseparable since the seventh grade. 

"Where you saw her, you saw him.  Everybody knew it was going to be Clara and Jake,” said Clara’s mom Joyce.

Back in November the two began spending even more time together when Clara took a job with Jake’s company. 

"I think the property owners loved her.  Everyday she'd learn something new and she would come home talking about it and was excited about it.  She wanted to make a career at CPM just like I did,” said Rinehart.

Clara’s boss Jeremy Aspen describes her as a go-getter who was hungry to learn. 

Midday Monday, Bender-Rinehart lost her life when a home she was inspecting for CPM exploded. 

“Our family is not angry and we don't blame anyone for this situation as tragic as it is,” said Rinehart.

Last summer Clara and Jake’s family gathered in his parent’s Bellevue backyard to watch the couple wed.  On Wednesday, they gathered to comfort one another. 

Clara’s mom Joyce Bender says her daughter had the biggest heart.

“Her family was her everything,” said Bender.

Clara loved her family and would do anything for her son and husband. 

“She was one of a kind.  There will never be another person like her. She really is one of a kind,” said Bender.