PRINCETON, Minn. (WCCO) — The daughters of a man killed in a deadly explosion are speaking out for the first time.
It was last month that a home in Princeton was leveled by a blast felt 10 miles away.READ MORE: Neighbors Band Together To Help Princeton Family After Home Explosion
Eugene Meyer, who was 85, died on the scene. His granddaughter and son survived their injuries.
Meyer’s family told Liz Collin about the terrifying moments and the community support that’s keeping them strong.
Judy Potvin got the call at work July 22 that the fiery explosion involved her dad’s house in Princeton.
“There was just so much chaos at the time, we didn’t know who was hurt, who was not hurt,” Potvin said.
She was forced to reach out to the hospital in town for answers.
“She found out and it was dad,” his other daughter, Connie Pouliot, said.
A longtime cement worker, Geno as he was known, was on jobs well into his 70s before he finally retired.
He raised six kids alongside his wife of 60 years.
When, that afternoon, he simply turned on the stove to make his lunch. The blast so strong it blew Pouliot’s daughter, Leah, through the front windows.READ MORE: Princeton Home Explosion Leaves 1 Dead, 2 Injured
“She said she was laying on the couch and when she came to she was outside,” Pouliot recalled. “She’s burned. She has burns here. Her legs here, both her feet … But she’s lucky to be alive.”
Their brother, John, was thrown from his basement bedroom when a neighbor pulled him to safety.
“Just as the two hands grabbed him the basement stairs went,” Pouliot said.
“It’s a lifetime of memories there. My dad built that house, we grew up there as kids,” Potvin said.
A chain-link fence now surrounds what little is left of their childhood, including memories of their mother who just died this June after being sick.
“We were still grieving her death and then this happened, so it’s been tragic,” Potvin said.
Investigators told WCCO they still don’t know what went wrong and that they’re awaiting test results from the scene, which could take months.
But, for Geno’s daughters it will take much longer to move on.
“Tell everybody you love them because I didn’t get to do that to my mom and dad,” Potvin said.
The family said they are grateful for all of the support from the Princeton community.
Some kids in the neighborhood have raised hundreds of dollars for Geno’s funeral through a lemonade stands and making bracelets. There is also a GoFundMe to help the family.