Last night Dr. J and I were sitting on the couch talking after finishing the movie Hugo when all the sudden we were started by the sound and feel of a blast. All the windows in the house shook and I instinctively ducked down. Seconds latter we were up looking out the windows trying to find the cause. Most of the neighborhood was outside, having run out after feeling the blast. We looked in the sky. In the far distance there were some fireworks going off but no one could figure out what had happened. We went back inside and got online to see if there was any news. There was none. We started chatting on facebook and within minutes we found out that there had been an explosion miles away. Initially it was suspected that a small plane had crashed into a neighborhood. Then we heard eight houses had blown up by a gas leak. My neighbor asked if maybe it had been a meth lab explosion. Someone who lived close by said their garage door had buckled. Finally bits and pieces started to trickle in to normal news stations. A house had blown up, possibly from a gas explosion. Two people were killed. Neighboring homes were majorly damaged or destroyed by the blast or the accompanying fire. In the end at least 18 homes were damaged. Residents were forced to evacuate the neighborhood while fire and rescue worked through the night to try to get the situation under control. There are some people saying one of the houses was empty and for sale and that a few weeks ago there was another explosion in town when someone stole the gas appliances out of an empty home and left the gas leaking. Some people speculate the same thing may have happened here. I don't know, but I can tell you it was scary and tragic. My thoughts and prayers go to the people of the neighborhood and to the families affected by this tragedy. I also couldn't help thinking about those people living in war torn areas of the world. It was rattling to have something like this happen so close. I can't even imagine the horror of experiencing this on a daily basis, sitting in your house while bombs are falling, not knowing if they will hit you and actually feeling the blast all around in your home as your windows shake. This was not a bomb but the explosion was felt for miles, really just so scary. It definitely messes with your sense of safety, even in your own home. Keep these families in your prayers. Pray the investigators will discover the cause soon so the rest of the neighborhood can return home. Donations are being collected at the local firehouses. I'm so grateful to live in a country where we are blessed with such amazing first responders.