EWING, NJ – An explosion Tuesday afternoon at a Ewing townhome development damaged 55 homes, completely destroying at least four and leaving many more currently uninhabitable. The American Red Cross North Jersey Region is working with Ewing Township and Mercer County officials to provide comfort and assistance to the families affected by this disaster.
Crockett Lane resident Tom first learned about the explosion while at work on Tuesday afternoon. He received a phone call from a concerned friend and immediately called his wife Marsha at work and the two rushed to the neighborhood to see what had happened. Both were directed to the Red Cross reception center set up at the West Trenton Fire House where they patiently waited with other residents for information about the condition of their homes.
Even though Marsha’s stroke medications were inaccessible at their home, the couple’s primary concern was for the safety of their dog, Ruby. Tom attempted to offer his keys to law enforcement in hopes they could help him retrieve her, but with fires still burning, officials said they would rescue Ruby once it was safe to get closer and enter his home.
Officials were later able to locate Ruby and reunited her with her worried owners. The relieved couple smiled as they cuddled their beloved pup. The Red Cross provided Tom and Marsha with emergency assistance for food and clothing and found a pet-friendly hotel so the couple wouldn’t have to be separated again from the four-legged member of their family.
Five Red Cross Disaster Action Team members were available to help the affected families at the reception center. The volunteers guided homeowners through the process of contacting their insurance companies and provided emergency assistance in the form of temporary lodging, food, clothing and supplies as needed.
On Wednesday morning, Tom and Marsha were accompanied by Ewing Police officers and the Red Cross into their damaged home for a quick collection of necessities. Joined by their daughter, who rushed home from college in West Virginia to help, the family gathered medications, clothing and important documents from their home.
Marsha found it difficult to remain focused on collecting the essentials as she came across photos and sentimental items that were knocked out of place during the explosion. As she began to pick up decorative starfish that had fallen off the window sill, she stopped suddenly and thought about her neighbors. Marsha realized how grateful she is that her family is safe.
Marsha hopes that she and Tom will return to their home soon once it is declared structurally sound and power can be restored.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free to those in need because of the generous donations from people like you. Help your neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a donation to the Red Cross.
Ewing Township is accepting donations for the families such as new clothing (tags still attached) and gift cards to local stores for groceries and clothing. Please call the Township’s call-in line at 609-538-7587 to learn more about making donations.