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Published October 10, 2012, 09:22 PM

Spiritwood family recalls furnace explosion

Spiritwood, ND (WDAY TV) - A Spiritwood family is counting their blessings after a furnace explosion destroyed their home and sent two to the hospital.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Spiritwood, ND (WDAY TV) - A Spiritwood family is counting their blessings after a furnace explosion destroyed their home and sent two to the hospital.

Paul and Gene Komrosky suffered second degree burns, but the family says they are glad the two are safe.

One family's life changed in an instant.

Tuesday afternoon, Hilma Komrosky got a call from her son Paul.

Hilma, Komrosky, Paul’s Mother/Gene’s Wife: "And he said, "I just blew up the house, Mom. It's on fire.""

Paul and his father, Gene, were lighting the furnace at Paul's farmhouse when it exploded.

Firefighters spent about seven hours putting out the resulting fire.

The big challenge with this fire is that the floor collapsed, trapping debris underneath and making it difficult for firefighters to get to the flames.

Tim Lyter, Sanborn Fire Chief: “We kept attacking because we thought if we saved them anything at all from the stuff that's in the house, it's better than nothing, nothing. The garage - we saved everything in there.”

The two men are in stable condition with second-degree burns at Mercy Hospital in Valley City.

Paul's brother, sister-in-law, and their children moved in last Spring to help around the farm.

They say that Paul - a longtime foster parent - pours his energy into helping others.

Laura Komrosky, Paul’s Sister-in-Law: “He's worried about the community and the people out there that need help. So, he'll be the last one to ask for help, but the first one to step up and help somebody else. So, we'll just stand behind him.”

Now, the home he opened to more than a dozen foster kids is gone.

The family will live with Hilma in Valley City for now, as they figure out how to pick up the pieces.

But they say it could have been much worse.

Komrosky: “We are so blessed that our men were saved. And the house can be replaced.”

Paul's family members worry that health problems could hinder his recovery.

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