RINCON, Ga. (WSAV) – A man is dead after the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) said his home exploded the evening of Saturday, Oct. 28.
Gregory Smithey was 69 years old when officials say he died in his Ebenezer Rd. home just after 7 p.m. that evening.
His wife Beverly Smithey, along with some family members, escorted News 3 through the rubble of the home.
“The explosion happened here; you see what it did to that wall. This door was welled shut. He couldn’t get out. They found him in that bathroom right there,” said Mr. Smithey’s son-in-law Jeremy Zeigler, pointing to the back door that is located near the bathroom.
Beverly Smithey was inside her home when it exploded.
“He takes a shower and I put the pot of potatoes on the stove, and when I turned the stove on, the house blew up. It threw me across the kitchen,” Mrs. Smithey told News 3.
She says she saw Gregory was trapped in the bathroom.
“I tried to come this way and I see the TV, a ball of fire shoot out, and went back the other way and came out the front door and came here and he stood on the other side of that door and I couldn’t get it open,” Mrs. Smithey explained, referencing the back door, nearest to Mr. Smithey.
After escaping the burning home, she says she then sought help to save her husband.
“I had no phone,” said Mrs. Smithey, “I rode the golf cart to the fire station and told them to come, and they came. There was just so much fire and so much smoke. There was nothing else to do.”
Mrs. Smithey told News 3 that it was a miracle that she survived and said, “Firefighters say I shouldn’t have survived.”
Gregory Smithey’s funeral was on Friday, Nov. 3.
ECSO says the cause of the explosion is under investigation.