DES MOINES, Iowa — Fire officials say the house explosion on the city’s northeast side affected more than just the homes in the neighborhood. It also damaged a church about two blocks away.
“I get a picture from one of our members who sent me a picture of our new sign. And then I’m like, Hey, this is really good. And he’s like, ‘no, did you look at the windows?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh. I’ll be right there,’” the Church at Union Park Team Pastor Wes Foster said.
Foster said the Church at Union Park lost their stained glass windows that were a significant piece of their church history due to the house explosion down the road.
“I was informed that it reached a mile radius around the the site,” Des Moines Fire Lt. Chris Bolton said.
Now, church members are scrambling to find a way to temporarily fix their windows.
“We got service Sunday morning. We’ll probably board them up at this point,” Foster said.
Foster said this may be a blessing in disguise, but there are a lot of questions they are trying to answer about what comes next.
“We’re trying to decide do we want to do something new? Do we want to replace them? You know, how do we replace them? Because again, it’s like you’re replacing memories from people who’ve been here for decades and decades,” Foster said.
Many in the neighborhood are trying to pick up the pieces as the blast destroyed the house it originated from and claimed two others.
“The city building officials came down and said that the two houses next to the explosion were condemned. So they can no longer get back in those houses,” Bolton said.
Foster and Bolton said there is a silver lining to the tragedy.
“No one was here. No one lost any life,” Foster said.
Bolton said the tragedy could have been much worse.
“The impact that this had on this neighborhood and people are very fortunate, lucky nothing happened,” Bolton said.
There is still no word on exactly what caused the explosion.
MidAmerican crews said all gas lines in the area are functioning normally and there doesn’t appear to be a leak. MidAmerican and other fire crews are still investigating.
If your property was damaged because of this incident, fire officials ask you to call 515-283-4200.
If you would like to help the Church at Union Park with repairs, clean up or anything else, you can call 515-265-5258.