Collateral damage from fatal house explosion

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 20:09:22-04
Neighbors continue to pick up the pieces from Monday’s house explosion in Benson that killed Clara Bender.
Nearby residents worry about whether their homeowners insurance will cover damage from the explosion blast and debris.
Most of the neighbors we’ve talked with say they're confident that homeowners insurance will cover the cost of extensive damage from the house that exploded.
The Omaha Fire Department says the explosion happened after a gas line wasn’t turned off after an appliance was removed.
Shelly Westfall says she’s concerned that her insurance might not cover foundational damage throughout her home.
"This was a perfectly nice door, until it wasn't a nice door anymore,” Westfall said. “There's a lot when you have to go room to room, well, my front molding got cracked, can't exactly fix it because it came from a salvage yard because it was installed three months ago by me.” 
Westfall and her neighbors, whose homes are west of the explosion, are waiting to hear from adjusters about an exact dollar amount.
"I wasn't told that something wouldn't be covered,” Westfall said.
Ruth Starkey lives across the street of the crater where homes were heavily damaged.
She was putting pots and pans away in a closet when she heard a blast like “Hiroshima” and went outside.
“I didn't see a foundation, I just saw a crater in the earth,” Starkey said. “No fire, no nothing, just embers coming down, insulation floating through the air. When I felt the pressure in the house, it blew through the house, it moved it (the house) to the left.”
While Starkey spends much of her days gathering various sized pieces of glass, she says she's grateful that homeowner's insurance will cover all of the damage to her home.
"I’m incredibly grateful and blessed,” Starkey said. “I'm honored. I'm in awe. We have a new day upon us. Nothing from the past is going to interfere with us walking forward. That's incredible news."
Insurance agents, inspectors and assessors weave through the neighborhood where shards of glass and debris were found as far as a half mile away from the blast.