Teenager captures house explosion, fire on cell phone in North Texas

DALLAS – The woman who miraculously got her five children out of their burning home in Oak Cliff early Tuesday morning told WFAA News 8 that everyone is OK, but said they lost everything in the fire.

"I'm grateful to God no one died in that fire," said Juana Rodriguez.

The explosion rocked the sleepy subdivision in Oak Cliff just before 6 a.m.

Sara Rodriguez, 13, was standing in her kitchen – just across the driveway – making a sandwich when it happened.

"I grabbed my phone and called 911," she said. "I saw people screaming, yelling! And I was like shocked."

Sara, who is not related to the victims, grabbed her mobile phone and started recording the inferno as she raced outside.

"It sounded like BOOM! Like a bomb or something," she said. "It came towards us."

As firefighters arrived, they yelled at Juana standing on her porch.

"Come out of that house!," a fireman is heard saying in her video.

The blast shattered windows in Sara's home and even melted her blinds.

But next door, 1612 Champagne Drive was unrecognizable.

Charred studs still stood, but brick walls were blown down in the blast.

"It's just amazing everyone got out alive. Maybe it was already on fire and everybody ran out and it exploded on the way out," said neighbor Charles Price.

That's most remarkable. Rodriguez and her five children escaped. Her husband, Martin, was working at a nearby store when it happened.

Paramedics took Juana and her children to Parkland Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

"I couldn't even believe it," Sara said. "I feel so bad for them."

Atmos Energy said its natural gas lines weren't leaking.

"The fire was determined to be accidental in nature, and began as the result of a natural gas leak, and explosion, inside the residence," said Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans.

Juana Rodriguez is employed by Duncanville ISD, the district confirmed. She did not say whether her family had insurance.


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