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Residents share story after rescuing woman following house explosion in Heber

Posted at 8:51 PM, Feb 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-16 22:52:22-05

HEBER, Utah -- You can hear the panic in Mary Hammond’s voice as her husband goes to rescue a woman in their neighbor's house that exploded Friday evening. 

Firefighters said the woman was going to their family cabin that had been empty for three weeks. The woman left her children in the car while she walked inside. 

There was propane in the residence and the house exploded — something firefighters are still investigating. 

The Hammond’s were eating dinner when they heard and felt the explosion. 

Minutes later, Mary stood on her porch and watched as her husband ran into the house.

“He went in there to save this woman to be with her family still, and they knew that it could potentially take them from theirs,” said Mary Hammond.

Mary's husband was soon joined by two other men, one who worked for the Unified Fire Authority.

The other, Mark Pierce, felt the boom from his house and rushed to the scene with his wife.

“There was fire over her and over us in that room,” said Pierce, recalling the terrifying moments inside the home. “She was just kind of right around the corner with a couch or some other debris on top of her.”

Lifting the debris off of her, then pulling the woman to safety, Pierce said they waited a long time before firefighters arrived on scene. 

“If we hadn’t done what we did you know, she for sure would’ve died in there,” said Pierce.

But that doesn’t mean the rescuers doubted they could save her.

“I wanted to get out of there, but part of me, you know, there’s somebody in that house there,” said Pierce emotionally. “I didn’t even know those people, but I’d still do the same for anybody else.”

The woman was rushed to the hospital where she underwent surgery and may lose her foot. Firefighters said she is still in critical condition.

As for the three rescuers, each returned home safely to their family.

“He didn’t say anything to me,” said Hammond. “He just embraced me and all he kept repeating was, ‘we got her, we got her.’ ”

A GoFundMe for the family has been set up by the Hammond’s for the family while the woman continues to recover.