Sunday, October 25, 2009

Heroes in the Valley

Dennis and Leona Sorenson built a home in College Ward, Utah (in Cache Valley) in 1972 and raised nine children in it. Dennis and Leona are currently serving a mission for the LDS church in Scotland.

When they come home, there will be a vacant lot where their home once stood.

A brother and sister, Tony and Mary, were living in the house when BOOM! the propane tank exploded.

An off-duty sheriff and his father were nearby and rushed to the scene. They saw a woman, bloody but coherent, and helped her out of the rubble. Her brother was missing, she said. The officer and his father began to look through the debris when they saw a hand. They quickly dug through the rubble and pulled Tony to safety. Then BOOM! Another powerful explosion went off and started fires in the debris and nearby fields.

Two powerful explosions. A courageous, selfless rescue in between. Two men who risked their lives to save others. When interviewed by a TV reporter, the officer said he’d do it again.

The family’s reaction? They’re celebrating that Mary and Tony are safe. They're grateful to the rescuers for their courageous actions. Mary has been released from the hospital and Tony is being treated for burns. He is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.

Debris was lodged in nearby trees and parts of the house landed in nearby fields.From the pictures and statements of bystanders, what was once a home looks like a  pile of toothpicks.

Amazingly, a family picture was found, intact.

How two people survived the explosions and were rescued is truly a miracle.

An account for donations has been set up in the name of Dennis Sorensen at America First Credit Union to help cover medical expenses for Mary and Tony.

And I have two new heroes to add to my list: Brandon Anderson and his dad. If I had some kind of disaster, I'd want them to be the first at the scene.

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