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Lincoln County gas line explosion survivors say they don't want to go back

Family recalls finding their neighbor who died from the blast
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Posted at 6:34 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 19:22:47-04

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Following the Lincoln County gas line explosion, people are trying to put their lives back together as the NTSB works to find out what exactly caused the blast.

The massive ball of flames could be seen for miles. Rob Connelly, his wife, and his son had been staying at Rob's childhood home to help his disabled parents. The explosion demolished two of his neighbors' homes across the street, including the home of Lisa Derringer, who died in the explosion.

Connelly said that after the blast, he saw Derringer in the grass at his home, but the fire was too hot to reach her. He told LEX 18's Leigh Searcy that he is still struggling with what he couldn't do.

"I didn't know she tried to take cover under my car, underneath the SUV," said Connelly. "I found her shoe and her glasses she was wearing, it's really heartbreaking because you wish you could've done something and you couldn't."

Connelly thinks that tall trees served as a wall to help protect his childhood home from melting to the ground. Although the home still stands, nothing around it is like it was.

"I know that, unfortunately, my parents won't ever want to live here again and I don't blame them, especially with this happening, and it could happen again," said Rob Connelly. "I've been here since I was 13, so it's a horrible shock to not want to come back to a home that's your home."

He said that his parents' home of 24 years no longer feels safe and he wonders if they'll ever get back the peaceful life they had before.