MOUNT HEALTHY, Ohio -- An Oct. 26 explosion left Chuck and Joyce McCane’s home irreparably damaged: walls blown outward, roof caved in, most of their belongings broken or melted by the heat.
The couple escaped, but Joyce remains hospitalized in critical condition more than a week after the incident that destroyed her home, her husband said.
"Her sister said she thought she was prepared (to see her in the hospital), but she said she almost passed out," he said. "Because she is not even recognizable."
Chuck McCane has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that impairs breathing, and kept several oxygen tanks in his home to treat it.
Authorities said Friday they still had not determined the cause of the fire that sparked the explosion, but when that fire started, those oxygen tanks burst -- one first responder’s body camera captured the deafening sound as he ran to check on the scene.
Watch the bodycam video below:
Chuck was in the bathroom when it happened; Joyce was in the living room. Chuck said the force of the explosion threw him around the room and sent him running out the back door.
"She went out the front door," he said. "I think she took a few steps the other way, and that’s when she collapsed on the ground."
He would not see his wife again until after they had both been loaded into separate ambulances and treated at the hospital. Even nine days after the incident, he said, she was still unable to breathe on her own.
"I went down there there other day, but her face is all bandaged, so I can’t see the extent of the damage," he said.
Chuck has stayed with family friends Patsy and John Woehrmeyer since the destruction of his home. Despite his wife’s severe condition, Chuck said, he is grateful that they both survived what could have been a deadly incident.
"I just thank God that we did get out," he said.