2. The Aftermath
The explosion and fire ultimately took 8 innocent lives, destroyed 38 homes, damaged many more, and changed a neighborhood forever.
In the weeks following the explosion, virtually the entire City organization focused solely on meeting the varied needs of the Crestmoor neighborhood. Our dedicated staff worked tirelessly, with little sleep the first few days and many did not have a chance for any time off for a year or more. The needs of the neighborhood were many - demolition and cleanup of the neighborhood, temporary repairs to our damaged infrastructure, long term temporary shelter for displaced residents, assistance on how to navigate the insurance bureaucracy, funding for extended counseling and support to figure out how to repair and rebuild damaged and destroyed homes among many others.
A team of City employees were assigned to act as personal liaisons to each of the damaged families, to make sure that they had the resources they needed to begin the arduous process of putting their lives back together. The City also realized that the rebuilding work would not be done quickly. The City could not simply patch up the hole in the middle of the neighborhood and move on. Not only would the City need to replace the neighborhood park and utility pipes and streets that had been completely destroyed, but to replace the entire infrastructure - water and sewer lines, street lights, sidewalks and street surface throughout the whole 370 home neighborhood.