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Sissonville Explosion Victims Relieved At Settlement; Still Dealing With Massive Loss

Reported by: Send eMail Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Dec. 11, 2013 6:37 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 11, 2013 7:00 PM EST

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Sissonville One Year Later
Eyewitness News Photo

Sissonville , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Eighty-five percent of the claims have been settled against NiSource after the Dec. 11, 2012 explosion near Sissonville that seriously damaged some homes and leveled another.

"This is always going to be a day that's going to be hard," Shirley McMillion, who lost her house and everything she owned in the explosion, said.

A year later, and the memories are still burned into her mind.

"You can't ignore the what could have beens," she said with tears in her eyes.

Her thoughts filled with "what ifs."

What if she and the eight other people living in her home had been home that day? What if she hadn't decided to go to a Christmas party the moment the gas line exploded underneath her home, taking everything she owned with it?

"It's so overwhelming that you can't comprehend right away," she said.

Today, she decorates her Christmas tree. A much different setting than where we found her last year, living in a hotel room for almost three months. A blessing, she said, just to have a home to put that three in.

Earlier this year, the McMillions settled with NiSource, and were able to buy a new home in Sissonville and were reimbursed for everything they lost. She said getting to that point, however, was an uphill battle.

"I really feel that in the long run they could have done more, what it put us through was terrible," she said. "We did not file a suit or anything like that, we didn't want to take the time to do that, we wanted to get on with our lives."

The spot her home used to sit on looks much different now. A place she said she still has trouble visiting, but today, she's thankful...to be alive and able to rebuild her life.

McMillion said she hopes gas lines will be regulated and tested in the state to perhaps stop a disaster like this one from ever happening again.



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