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Neighbor, fire department official react to apartment explosion

Neighbor, fire department official react to apartment explosion
Posted at 7:11 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 12:53:34-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Tasha Moyer didn't know exactly what she heard, but she quickly found out after looking out of her window across Meadowvista Drive at the Chandler's Mill Apartments.

"All of a sudden I just heard it go boom," she exclaimed. "And I’m thinking, well OK, people always have fireworks going off and on here."

It wasn't fireworks.

Two workers in a second floor apartment in one of the complex's two-story buildings were resurfacing a bathtub around 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The room didn't have a window, and that lack of ventilation allowed fumes from a chemical they were using to build-up to an explosive concentration.

“We don’t know exactly what sparked the explosion," Corpus Christi Fire Department Battalion Chief Billy Belyeu said. "But we do know it was an explosion caused by an explosive chemical which is lacquer.”

One worker survived the blast without any injuries, but the second wasn't as lucky.

An ambulance first rushed him to Corpus Christi Medical Center Bay Area Hospital, but he was later flown to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

That hospital has a burn unit where doctors will assess his injuries and begin treating them.

“I just hope the person is OK," Moyer said. "It’s a very sad thing.”

But with a blast of this magnitude, it could have been worse.

"We could have had people at home," Belyeu said. "Luckily people were at work, so nobody was at home at the adjacent apartments.”

Contractors are examining the adjacent apartments to see if they need repairs as they prepare to fix the large hole in the side of the building left from the explosion.

And it turns out, it might not have been the only blast in that neighborhood in the past year or so.

Moyer says a clothes dryer in an apartment at her complex near her own unit blew-up causing some damage.

The two explosions have her rethinking her living situation.

“Maybe I need to get away from apartments,” she said laughing.