WOODSTOCK, Ill. — A family that has lost everything after a gas explosion earlier this week in Woodstock is speaking out.
Their house was among the 20 structures destroyed. It leveled one home and has made two neighboring buildings inhabitable.
“I’m heartbroken,” Armani Peralta said. “That was our first home. Our established home and all my baby’s things.”
Peralta, her three-month-old baby girl Alanie, and her partner who shares the same first name as Armaine, lived in the two-unit building that went up in flames Monday afternoon after the home next door exploded.
“I came home from work around 12ish, 1 o’clock,” Armaine Bannister, said. “Everything was blocked off. I drove around the block to see if I could come from that way to pick them up, couldn’t do it. There was an officer there so I talked to him. He said to just grab the baby, grab the wife and just get out. There’s a gas leak.”
According to Woodstock Fire and Rescue, a crew hit a 2 inch gas main inside of a sewer line near Tryon Street and Lincoln Avenue.
“We were inside the house, gas inhalation and stuff like that,” Armani Peralta said. “We rushed her to the doctor to make sure she was ok. After that, we came straight here. Just to see what it looked like, if there was anything salvageable, anything at all.”
Among personal belongings, the family also lost their kitten.
“I left the cat at home thinking we’d be back home in about an hour, hour and half,” Armani Peralta said. “I felt so bad. She was just a tiny little baby.”
The family is among 11 people who were displaced from the incident.
Two firefighters were treated at the hospital for minor injuries, but officials say no one was seriously hurt.
The family has set up a GoFundMe as they figure out what’s next.
The family said they are grateful to still have each other and are looking forward to a brighter future.