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Explosion damage was more than physical for nearby homes

SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) — The Pagel’s Main Street home was one of many mangled by the explosion.

“We were home when it happened,” said owner Jessica Pagel. “It rocked the house.”

Windows were blown out, the foundation was cracked and doors and patio furniture were thrown. The Pagels had to stay two weeks in a nearby hotel.

A year later, their home now has a fresh coat of paint, new windows and no signs of the destruction.

“It feels longer,” Pagel said. “I can’t believe it’s been a year… We were very lucky.”

She says the process went smoothly thanks to help from insurance and the community.

“Overall, it could have been so much worse,” Pagel said. “So we’re very thankful that’s all it was.”

The Pagels live just blocks from downtown, and while the physical damage was easily fixed, the emotional damage took a little time.

“I had my daughter in some therapy and my son too,” Pagel said. “Just to kind of talk through some things. So it took a couple of months for them to get back on track.”

Her children, like the whole community, were trying to process the tragedy.

“They were really sad for the firefighter who lost his life,” she said. “Just talking about what happened and that it will never happen again.”

As life has moved forward in the year following the explosion, Pagel says it’s thanks to the community that her family has stayed strong.

“You never know what’s going to happen when a tragedy like that happens,” she said. “And it just really helped. It helped all of us.”

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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