Community holding donation drive as family recovers from home explosion

Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 17:20:33-05

EGELSTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The community is coming together to support the Stock family who lost their home to a gas explosion in Muskegon County.

Two people are recovering from their injuries as investigators try to find out what exactly happened yesterday at the Barnes Road property. Fire chief Mark Cleveland says it was propane gas, and family says the tank was filled not long before the explosion. However, what led to that explosion is unknown and still under investigation.

"There has been nothing from the residents, at this point, that they were smelling gas before the explosion," Cleveland told FOX 17.

The fire department is working hand in hand with the Michigan State Police to try and find out what went wrong. Five people lived at the home. A father and son were there at the time and suffered severe burns, but they survived the blast.

Debbie Gauthier, a relative told FOX 17, “It was a miracle. Even the doctor when he came out and talked to us in the waiting room said, 'I've seen the pictures of the house.' He said, 'It's a miracle that they are here.' And that is right.”

In addition to their physical injuries, the family lost their belongings in the blast. So Melanie Block, who teaches one of the Stock children at Ravenna High School, organized a donation drive.

Block said, "We are all praying for them to have a full recovery. They're both healthy young men, and it's going to be a long road for them though."

"We have some people who at the hospital with family last night that were gathering the sizes for the family," she said.

Block said, "Their oldest daughter, Mackenzie, is expecting a baby here any day, and all of their baby supplies that they gathered through showers and from friends, all of their supplies were lost."

It's a small town coming together to lighten the burden in a trying time.

"The Stocks are a great family. They're really friendly people. They're very active in our school and we just, as a community, we always step up to try and help people who are in need," Block explained.

Block says there are several ways to donate physical items: at Ravenna High School, St. Catherine's Church in Ravenna, or to Chris and Andy Emery's home. She says there's also a Choice One bank account set up in the Stock family name where people can donate money.