Angela Young, who was severely burned when her home exploded Jan. 29 in Grayson County, Kentucky, passed away Saturday, her high school-age son announced.
In a Facebook post made to the page “Angela and Jo’s Well-being Updates” on Saturday, AJ Scanlon wrote:
“Angela Young has passed. We are taking it the best we can. We ask that you don’t attempt to contact my Mamaw or Papaw through the phone as they need time to cope. I would appreciate it if you also left any messages/calls to me to a minimum.”
The Grayson County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Young died at University of Louisville Hospital. No other information was released.
After the explosion, Young was flown to Louisville, about 85 miles northwest of her home in Millwood, and admitted to the UofL hospital’s burn unit, where she was treated for burns covering more than 80 percent of her body.
Expectations were that she would be in a coma for many weeks.
What happened Jan. 29
According to family members, Young and her daughter Johanna, 7, were leaving their home Jan. 29 when the explosion occurred. Young apparently shielded her daughter from the flames.
The day of the blast, neighbor Gordon Johnson told a reporter for Louisville’s WAVE-TV, “It went boom.”
Said Johnson: “The little girl, she’d come over every day in the summertime and get a Popsicle. I’d give her a Popsicle. Every evening, she comes and gets one.”
Johanna was released from Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville with minor injuries days after the explosion.
Propane leak suspected
Investigators said the blast was caused by a leak in the home’s propane furnace, which had been refilled hours earlier by Midway Propane.
Scanlon said the furnace was shut off after family members smelled gas. He said the Midway Propane servicemen also said they smelled gas.
“My biggest question I have, besides the well-being of my family members,” Scanlon said, “is if the job of the propane company was done properly.”
Neighbors still stunned
Even now, two weeks after the horrific event, Samantha McStoots can’t get the sound of the explosion out of her head.
“It was just a big boom,” she told the WAVE-TV reporter. “Smoke. Fire. Everybody was running that way. It’s devastating.”
On Monday, accompanied by the reporter, McStoots walked back to the home to see what was left of the structure. When they arrived, they found the foundation reduced to ashes, still smelling of charred wood and natural gas.
McStoots said the past two weeks have crushed the neighbors.
“Oh, it hit hard,” she said.
McStoots said the neighborhood is prepared to give family members whatever they need to help them with the grieving process.
“That’s the woman that gave birth to you,” McStoots said, referring to Young’s children, “but living without her, I think they’ll pull through.”
HS rallies around son
The news of Young’s passing also hit hard at Grayson County High School. Since the explosion, students have sent Scanlon cards expressing their concerns and support.
On Monday, assistant principal Lacy Cox read aloud a message of support for Scanlon and his family.
“You know, so often people that swear, ‘Oh, I’m not coming back to Grayson County’ make their way back because it is this small-knit community,” Cox said. “I mean, anytime we have anything happen it just seems there’s always an overwhelming response of people to pick up the pieces and to just motivate and do whatever needs to be done.”
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