Man who saved neighbor from Chesapeake gas explosion now needs help himself

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CHESAPEAKE Va. (WAVY) — It has been three days since a deadly gas explosion destroyed a Chesapeake home and neighboring homes as well. 

According to fire officials, one person died in the explosion. 

The neighborhood on Lufurno Road in the Loxley Gardens area is still reeling from the devastation. 

That includes Joseph Gandia, who, along with others, ran into the burning home to save the couple inside. 

PREVIOUS: Caught on camera: Gas explosion at Chesapeake home leaves 9 injured

Now the Chesapeake community is rallying around Gandia and his family after their home was pronounced condemned. 

“It’s still kind of unbelievable at this moment in time, said Gandia as he recalls Sunday night. “I was just relieved when I got her out, because I knew I got her out, that building ain’t taking her. I didn’t give up on her, I fell three or four times, just trying to get her out and every time I fell I thought, am I going to make it?”

Yet today, he feels a sense of guilt. 

“A lot of people tell me that’s not the way to think, you did what you could to give the family a chance to spend a little time with her and she was able to die peacefully.” 

Gandia says he was standing just feet away from the explosion. 

“I was actually standing right at my back door when the fire hit,” Gandia said. “Now, my whole whole home is pretty much destroyed.”

The community got wind of the news and many have decided to rally around Joe and his family.  

“The hugs and the people that just want to hold you tight and say it’s going to be OK. We’ve been getting love and support from every corner.” 

Help’s on the way from the Deep Creek Baseball and Softball Association, as well as several GoFundMe pages. 

And all the while, Gandia still feels for his neighbors whom he loves so much. He says he is praying and trying to look forward beyond the destruction in the place he once called home. 

“I just want my neighbors back, it’s such a tragedy.”

Click here to donate to the Deep Creek Baseball and Softball Association fundraiser.

Click here to donate to Kaleb’s Drive fundraiser.

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