Within the community that saved the family when their home exploded and they were stuck inside

A brave mother has shared how her community saved her family after their house exploded with them inside.

Jessica Williams, then 31, had just returned home with her sons Reuben, five, and Elliot, two, when the property blew up in a freak gas explosion, leaving nothing but rubble.

The blast rocked terraced street in the village of Seven Sisters in Wales, damaging two neighboring properties and causing the evacuation of 14 others.

The description of the residents is described as “something out of a movie”, with flames shooting out of the house and fire everywhere, water bursting from the pipes and screams coming from inside.

Jess and her boys reportedly miraculously survived despite being buried under tons of rubble and surrounded by fire pits Wales Online.







Jessica and her partner Mike David pictured with their sons Elliot, three, and Ruben, seven
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Picture:

WalesOnline/Gayle Marsh)

Neighbor Jeff Davies, 52, helped pull Jess out of the property and clear the debris immediately after the blast.

He recalled hearing her screams and clearing the debris around her to make sure nothing more fell before releasing the mother from under the family’s American fridge.

The developer was presented with a bravery award by the South Wales Police along with fellow locals Cameron Nation, Leighton Williams, Stephen Lewis and Kevin O’Sullivan for their efforts.

Almost two years later, after waking up from an induced coma, Jess has opened up about the horrifying ordeal and how the mining village stuck together to save her family.







The family home was destroyed in the blast
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Picture:

Alamy Live News.)

Thanks to a Facebook group of more than 500 community members, more than £25,000 has been donated to help rebuild the damaged properties.

Jess said she was “overwhelmed” by her kindness to neighbors who are joining forces to help rebuild their home for free or at discounted rates.

“They are rebuilding our lives, not just our homes,” the teaching assistant said.

“One thing I learned from the day is that the community spirit is still there, even if we don’t see it on a daily basis, when the chips are down and in events as serious as this.”







Finally they can return to the place where the reconstruction of their house is underway
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MEDIA WALES)

The project is now in full swing, with work to clear the site and assess the damage beginning just a month after the blast.

Dozens of builders and craftsmen turned up, offering to help with what is locally referred to as the “Church Road Rebuild by Kindness” project.

Huw Davis of the Ian Davis factory was there from the start and spent more than a week crawling through the rubble to salvage some of the family’s belongings.







Neighbor Jeff Davies who helped rescue Jess and clear the debris
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MEDIA WALES)

He said: “I went upstairs to take down the house but all her sentimentality was still there. Anything we found, we salvaged.”

“I picked everything out with a machine because we couldn’t go in there because it was dangerous. I had the grapple on the machine and we walked through the house brick by brick.”

Jess’ father visited the site every day to see what had been recovered, including clothing, photographs and the family’s goldfish, which incredibly survived the blast.

The reconstruction team, including Huw, also worked on the foundations and concrete floor slabs of the refurbishment.

“It’s in our valley, isn’t it. It feels damn good to be involved in something like that,” he added.







Jess after leaving the hospital in 2020 where she was being treated for serious injuries including burns
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MEDIA WALES)

“When people fight and see everyone pulling together, it’s nice.”

Jess and her family still live in a house a mile from their home and have decided to prioritize their neighbors’ homes over their own.

This, coupled with lockdown delays, means construction of the timber frame is only now beginning and the family can finally visit the site again.

“As I walked by, there was a gap … but now there’s a structure there, it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s happening now,'” she said.







Jeff Davies and Stephen Lewis have been presented with a bravery award by the South Wales Police
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MEDIA WALES)

Although most of the work is being done for free from the fundraiser, Jess and her family recognize that this will only go so far and decided to pay for the wooden frame themselves.

The exterior of the property needs to remain as it was structurally, but the family have asked for some interior changes to make it feel easier to move back into.

“I asked for a few changes, like doors in different places and things like that,” Jess said.

“Because the accident happened in the kitchen, mentally I need a different kind of layout for myself.







Jessica Williams and her two sons were seriously injured when their home exploded
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MEDIA WALES)

“I don’t want to go in there and have visions of exactly what it was like. I hope that after that I can live a little easier there.”

She added, “We’ve tried talking to the guys about how they want their bedrooms and things, so I try to keep it positive for them and they feel okay going back there.”

South Wales Police concluded the explosion was most likely caused by a “combination of aging LPG and environmental conditions”.







The family expressed their gratitude for the incredible support from the neighbors
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Picture:

MEDIA WALES)

Jess suffered severe burns on 70 percent of her body, was treated for a punctured lung, several broken ribs and kidney failure, which meant she had to learn to walk and talk again.

She also had a tracheostomy, a procedure that creates an opening in the throat to allow air to enter a person’s lungs, leaving them unable to speak, swallow, or eat.

Her children, now aged seven and three, also suffered severe burns and will require regular surgeries until they reach adulthood.

“You are doing amazing. I think kids are so resilient. If you didn’t see their burns, you wouldn’t know anything happened to them,” Jess said.







Jess suffered both physical and mental injuries, including scars and PTSD
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MEDIA WALES)

“Reuben is talking about it because he obviously remembers it. In the last two years he has raised a number of points.

“Elliot didn’t. He would tell people he got his burns from falling down in the park.”

While her physical and mental health needs can seem “endless,” they have been spurred on by the help and support of her community, which she said has “wrapped around her.”

She added, “Coming home from the hospital … I don’t think I realized how much support there was and was.

“I just can’t find the words, it’s incredible how much people have helped. We’re just so grateful.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-community-saved-family-home-27151196 Within the community that saved the family when their home exploded and they were stuck inside

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