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Moving Forward After a Catastrophic Explosion

Denver Colter

After working with Arnold & Itkin, I feel good about my future.

Jodie Colter

On August the first of 2019, I woke up in the middle of the night, gripping the side of my mattress and I realized that everything around me outside was on fire. The gas line had exploded.

Denver Colter

I woke up on the ground—and, hearing all this noise, it's almost like a train going down the tracks times 10. It kind of shook a little bit. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. My first thought was a tornado's on us, about to rip us apart. I started making my way down the hall to where my wife was.

Jodie Colter

I turned to the left and I saw my husband coming down, very slow motion, and I realized that he was not cognitive of what was going on. I tried to tell him that the gas line had exploded, but the noise was deafening. I thought my head was going to explode from just the sound.

Denver Colter

I opened the back door and I looked outside—and just the fire and the heat. It didn't take me long to come to a point that we were trapped, and we weren't going to get out and our life was over. I remember having the thought, "Wow, 50 some years old and this is it, we're never going to see our kids no more."

Because I knew we weren’t getting out, and I knew nobody was getting in. It was too hot. I was at a point where it's either burn to death or I take our own lives. That's the only option we had.

Jodie Colter

We opened the back door to a flood of fire, just pouring like a tornado. It was beyond hot. We started to run, my skin immediately started to sear, and it took my breath. It was so hot and so painful. I cried out to the Lord again. It felt like wings engulfed me and started to push me forward because I had frozen a little bit from the heat and fear.

Denver Colter

I stayed behind her and our dog, making sure they were okay. The whole time, the whole way out, for some reason I kept turning around and looking at that flame and how big it was. It was amazing. I couldn't believe it.

Jodie Colter

Things were falling out of the sky. Large chunks of rock and debris that were on fire. One whizzed past my head real fast. I was like, “What was that? What was that?” Still trying to stay upright and falling over everything and Jordan just making me go and go and Denver was behind me—but in my head, there was a quiet silence saying, "Go, go, go, go, go. Don't look back. Go, go, go." And that's exactly what I did.

I couldn't run anymore because there was no air in the area. It was so hard to breathe. So, I tried to hide behind a building and I could see, I looked over to the building and the paint had started to bubble up on it.

My skin was burning really bad so I tried to pull my shirt down over my skin.

Denver Colter

I kind of fell back a little bit thinking, "Oh, we're not going to make it. There's no way. It's too hot, we're going to fry. As soon as we get out from the cover of the house into the open, we're going to fry. We're going to die."

Jodie Colter

I knew that I couldn't stay there—even though I'd run as far as I could, it was still not safe. I could see that there were some trees so I took off toward the trees. When I stepped into those trees, I could breathe. I got a first real, full lung breath of air, and I was so grateful.

Denver Colter

I heard that the gas line exploded because of a lack of maintenance.

Jodie Colter

Every car, every piece of clothing, every picture, every memory that you had saved, every special item that I had collected was gone in an instant.

Denver Colter

My wife and I, we were in the area one day and we saw Candy Ellis, which is the daughter of the woman that died in the explosion. She came up to us and asked us what our plans were. We didn't really know at first. She told us about Arnold & Itkin, and she said she really had a lot of trust and faith in them. That's how we ended up going with Arnold & Itkin.

Jodie Colter

Sometimes I would think about the level of stress that I had going through this whole thing, and I think about Arnold & Itkin taking on that stress for me. They picked it up and they ran with it. They have allowed me to close that chapter and feel good about it and move forward without looking back with regrets. I feel great.

Denver Colter

Arnold & Itkin, they just made us feel kind of like, “Hey, everything's going to be fine. We're going to help you out here, and we're going to take care of everything for you.” And they did. It's almost like going over to see your family and sitting down and talking with them.

After working with Arnold & Itkin, I feel good about my future. I feel like I have no worries. They were there for us and they're still there for us now. I feel like my future is really bright because of Arnold & Itkin.

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