FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been almost three weeks since a duplex in Franklin exploded, killing one man and seriously injuring a woman.
City leaders believe a propane leak contributed to the disaster and have shut off the lines until they can be inspected.
Since then, those who live at Berkley Court Apartments have gone without gas or hot water.
“Every day I’m walking through the house paranoid,” said Kimberly Faulk.
Kimberly Faulk lives a few buildings down from the duplex that exploded last month. The damage is the first thing she sees looking out her living room window. She remembers that night in April as she was about to get into bed after tucking in her children.
“I had just put them to bed. I was about to get into bed and I ended up on the floor,” Faulk recalled.
The blast caused her to instinctively duck, thinking her house was about to fall.
“It really sounded like the house was coming down while everyone was upstairs,” Faulk said.
She could see red and orange smoke rising from the building across the way where Michael Wiggins, a family friend, lived. Wiggins died after being badly burned in the explosion.
“We were all scared because we knew that was his house and that’s all that really mattered at that point. [We wondered] Is he OK?” Faulk said.
Now almost three weeks later, Faulk continuously boils water since the complex shut off gas and hot water as the explosion is investigated.
“Every time I put my stove on, I’m scared,” Faulk explained.
The property manager has since installed a shower trailer on site that people can sign up to use. It closes at 6 p.m. daily. The other option is to use the showers at the Lowe’s up the street, but Faulk says it’s not sustainable and that more needs to be done.
“We have to have baths. Especially, like, women, we have this time of the month. It’s not sanitary,” Faulk said.
Gas and hot water will be restored after the gas lines are inspected. As of Monday, Franklin’s city manager said that inspection has not happened yet. She also told 10 On Your Side the property management company is expected to have an update Tuesday morning regarding hot water.
We reached out to Severn Management Company LLC and are waiting to hear back.