It was the home 48 Wilson Street in Corning that exploded but the damage was felt throughout the neighborhood. Paul and Jill Mertus own the home right next door. A home they are no longer able to live in. Our Bill Mich has more.
CORNING, N.Y. -- For Paul and Jill Mertus, the homeowners at 46 Wilson Street, the news about their home being condemned after the house next door exploded was certainly tough, but they took it in stride.
"I was just thankful everybody was alive. So at that point, who cares about anything else. Everybody's alive and I was happy and thanks be to God I continue to be happy because everybody is alive," said Paul Mertus.
Their house is just one of three that has been deemed uninhabitable after damage sustained in Friday's explosion. 48 Wilson Street exploded after a gas leak found an ignition source with two men inside who were working on the water heater. Robert Young, 86, and his grandson, Paul, 38, survived the blast, but did sustain serious injuries. Now it is time to try and get back to normal on Wilson Street and while that will be tough for the Mertus', they say they are getting plenty of help.
"Offers to stay at houses, offers for food, to help clean out, to help watch our kids, to just anything you can imagine. It's been amazing to really see what everybody would do for you in this type of a situation," said Jill Mertus.
The family will soon have to rent a house because the one on Wilson Street must be torn down. But the Mertus' say they would love to rebuild in the same spot. And despite everything that has happened, Paul and Jill hold no grudges.
"I can't imagine he would not do his own water heater. That's just what Bob does. I am very thankful for our neighbors and I just really pray that he pulls through," said Paul Mertus.
Following the explosion on Friday, both Robert and Paul Young were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester to be treated for their injuries. Both are listed in guarded condition.