MARSHALL, Mich. — Family and friends of the eight people injured in a home explosion in Marshall earlier this week gathered Saturday to show support for them.
The vigil happened at the B.E. Henry building near the city’s fairgrounds.
“We are Marshall strong,” said Laura Hendrix, an organizer. “I believe that we are all strong, and together we can and will get through this.”
Hendrix is a close family friend and self-described aunt of Katie Kornmeyer, who she identified as one of the victims. Hendrix says Kornmeyer and her two-year-old daughter, Mila, are still in the hospital being treated for their injuries.
“Katie’s a very strong individual, always the life of the party,” said Hendrix. “[She’s] a very good mom to Mila.”
Family named Dustin Boggess as another victim, who is still fighting at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. His sister, Crenna Balevinas-Epler, said Boggess ran back into the house to save Mila during the incident.
“Dustin’s like the angel sent from heaven,” said Balevinas-Epler. “He’s always out to try to save everybody.”
According to Balevinas-Epler, all other people involved have been released from the hospital. She says Josh Spear and Kelley Holt, two of the other victims, owned the home and opened it up to the others.
“They were all friends helping each other,” said Balevinas-Epler. “It’s kind of what they do.”
Family says everyone is expected to be okay, but will endure a tough recovery in the months ahead. They hope the community’s support makes the process easier.
Authorities say the home on Clinton Street burned to the ground after a natural gas leak caused it to explode. Foul play is not suspected.
“They lost everything and they’re fighting for everything,” said Hendrix.
GoFundMe pages and other outreach efforts have been created. To find ways to get involved, click here.
“We’re here to protect 'em all and give them what they need,” said Balevinas-Epler. “We want to get them on their feet and do whatever we can do for them.”