Explosion victim shares his story

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Kolby Gimmeson was sitting in his living room with his roommate yesterday when a strange smell overcame the room.

“15 minutes before the explosion I started smelling freshly cut onions and garlic and told my roommate we should do something about it,” Gimmeson said.

The smell of onions turned out to be natural gas. As soon as Gimmeson and his roommate lit incense to minimize the smell, flames erupted.

He said the fire started on the couch his roommate was sitting on and rapidly traveled across the room where Gimmeson was sitting. Within seconds, the fire reached the vent. He said that’s when he said the home exploded.

“It got to the back vent and exploded the couch up and threw us out,” he said. “I hit the ceiling and there were flames everywhere and I could barely see out of my eyes I was so swollen up.”

Gimmeson, his roommate and a friend were all taken to the hospital. His friend was released yesterday with cuts and minor burns. His roommate remains in the hospital with severe burns and will likely remain in intensive care for the next few days, according to Gimmeson.

As soon as Gimmeson was released from the hospital today, he went back to the place where his house stood less than 30 hours previously. He said he was shocked to see nothing standing.

“I can’t believe this at all on any scale,” he said. “I thought I’d lose a wall, maybe half my house, but my entire house is gone.”

Gimmeson, who had singed hair and visible burns on his face and arms, said he’s having a hard time grasping what he lived through.

“I can’t believe I even have a face,” he said. “I should’ve been dead in there… there was so much fire, explosion and with the amount of gas I was smelling, I just can’t believe I’m still here right now.”

Gimmeson said he’s still in shock but is beginning to try to find another place to live.

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