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Steve & Laurie Lambert
Laurie: “That night, my husband went back into the house to get my wedding rings—I always take them off when I go to bed. I was yelling from the outside, ‘Get out of the house, get out of the house! It’s not important!’ At that moment, we had no idea what was happening. He grabbed a backpack and put some framed pictures in there, trying to get whatever he could. He even got me my tennis shoes because I wasn’t wearing any.
“Later, even though our house was pretty much destroyed, we were able to go in and get things. We were fortunate enough that we could get into our house and not have the fear of it falling in on us. We took a painting that my great-grandmother had painted—it was important to get things that were irreplaceable.
“The day they tore my house down, I just happened to be going past to see if there was any mail, and it was kind of a shock to see—it was pretty emotional. I stopped in front of the house, and the man stopped the machine and asked, ‘Is this your house?’ He saved the address plate. So we have our 8338 that was on the front of our house, and we’ll take that with us everywhere we go and be able to tell our children about it. This man was very sensitive to the fact that he was tearing down someone’s home. It was so kind.”
“We were all in bed, and I heard a boom—but what really woke me up was our alarm going off because all of our windows were breaking. I went down the hallway, and our ceiling started coming down. The garage just picked up and moved two feet. We were three houses down from where the explosion happened, and I thought we were being bombed.
“My kids didn’t want to come out of their rooms. I took my 4-year-old, and [my husband] Chad and I went downstairs. Every window was shattered, and our cabinets had flung open and glasses were flying everywhere. He screamed at me, ‘Can you get the kids?’ because he wanted to go comfort a neighbor whose wife and kids were trapped by drywall.
“Chad ran back into the house that night. In all of the chaos—of running, of watching the fire go from the next house to the next house, and it was only a couple of houses away—I said, ‘What made you go back in there?’ He had to grab his hat—he’s bald, and the fire was so hot on his head, he had to do that in order to do any helping. He also grabbed our wedding album because that’s what meant the most to us.
“The next day, the responders were amazing—they were able to take us in for 15 minutes, and I got one of my grandmother’s dishes—it was one of the very few that did not break. I found this picture of my husband baptizing my oldest son. And the picture with the Deuteronomy scripture wasn’t shattered, even though it fell off the wall—not a scratch on it. It was really weird, the things that didn’t break.”
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