OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Last week, three people were killed in a tragic house explosion that shocked the surrounding neighborhood. As investigators still look for answers, a group who grew up in South Omaha are hoping to help the family that was left behind, and show the city how strong South Omaha can be.
Near the corner of 51st and M streets, the devastation left in the wake of a house explosion is still on display. The bitter smell of smoke lingers in the air.
The memories of the three people who were killed, Theresa Toledo, Angela Miller and Alexander Toledo, remain as those who knew them try to heal and support those left behind.
“Theresa was the most loving, kind person," said John Paul Eubanks, who knew the family. "She would invite anyone into her house. Angela was the kindest, funniest lady every."
John Paul Eubanks and Miranda Engelkamp both grew up in South Omaha. They both have family still in the area, and Engelkamp houses the print shop for her business, Lennie + Lou, there.
“I drive by the house every day to the print shop, so yeah, it was sad and scary," Englekamp said.
Burdened by the loss they saw, Englekemp and Eubanks came together to support the Toledo family. Through her business, Englekemp offered shirts that say 'South Omaha Strong'. The money from sales would be given to the family for whatever they may need, and the South Omaha natives hoped the shirts' message would remind the community of its strength during this time.
“I thought it was an amazing idea," Eubanks said. "Anything that we could do to help the family. I knew that our South Omaha community would come together.”
So far, they have raised over $2,000, and plan to continue selling the shirts for another few weeks. The shirts can be purchased here.