Woman Credits Appliance Store Worker with Saving her Life

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It’s still hard to believe that nobody was killed or even seriously hurt from Tuesday’s gas line explosion in Sissonville.

Fortunately not many people were home when flames from the explosion swept through a neighborhood.

There was one woman home when it happened who credits her survival to one person in particular. Thursday, she had the opportunity to thank her in person.

“I didn't know if a plane was crashing or there was an earthquake,” Sue Bonham from Sissonville said. “I felt like my house was going to explode at any minute.”

Despite her fear, there are worse places Bonham could have been Tuesday afternoon.

“I had my purse on my arm and was ready to go out the door,” Bonham said.

That's when her phone rang. Little did she know that would be the call that saved her life. Less than a minute after picking up; the gas line exploded.

“I could hear her saying something but couldn't really make out what it was,” Trudy Weaver with Jeff’s Appliances in Nitro said.

Weaver was the person on the other end. She was calling to schedule a repair.

“I felt like I was going to be burned alive and that they were not going to be able to get to me in time. I told her to just tell my family that I love them,” Bonham said.

Trudy and her co-worker, Dennis Jeffrey, did just that. They called Bonham's husband and her daughter.

Thursday, Bonham gave Weaver a surprise visit at work; bringing her flowers and thanking her for saving her life.

Weaver and Jeffrey not only got her family on the phone, but also called firefighters and told them where she was and how to find her.

“That was such a relief to hear the paramedic on the phone saying that he had you and you were okay,” Weaver said to Bonham.

And Bonham is confident: if not for that call, she would have already been in her car, and possibly driving right through the blast.

“Thank you for staying on the phone with me through all of that,” Bonham said.


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