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Houses rebuilt after Benson explosion

Posted: 6:28 PM, Apr 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-27 21:06:41-04

Tragedy struck nearly two years ago in a Benson neighborhood near 65th and Manderson streets. An explosion caused by a natural gas leak destroyed three homes and took a life.

"I saw it and I was terrified," said Jalen Hankins.

Jalen Hankins says he remembers it all. He was napping in his home just a few houses down.

"Our windows were broken, ripped out from the explosion," said Hankins.

The aftermath left an eyesore on that street.

"When you take a block within that community and cut out three houses and you have condemned houses sitting there, that's not good," said Kathy Roum.

Kathy Roum with Habitat For Humanity says they teamed up with the property owners in a project to rebuild.

"They wanted to make a bad situation good, so they donated the properties to us," said Roum.

Now two of the three homes are finished, furnished with five bedrooms.

Two families will move in this weekend.

"We partnered with local, low income families who are in need of safe and decent housing," said Roum.

Roum says the homes help put the missing pieces back into the neighborhood.

"It was something we could do to help make that community thrive again," said Roum.

The houses will be dedicated at a community event in front of the houses at 2 p.m. Saturday. The families will also be handed the keys to their new homes.