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Employer houses couple who lost home

April 30, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - The first thing George Carey noticed when he pulled into his Kaetzel Road driveway on April 22 was a sour smell.

"I went out back and heard gas coming out of the propane tank in back of the house," he said.

Moments later as he and his wife Jane ran into the kitchen to get the gas company's phone number, the two-story house that had been their home for 15 years exploded around them.

"Then I was down in the basement, trying to crawl out ... pulling mother with me," said George Carey, 62, referring to his wife. "The house was just gone."

Their grandson, Trey, 5, also was in the house when it blew but he escaped without a scratch.

"It was a miracle we got out alive," Jane Carey said.

The Careys came home Friday to a new home - thanks to the employees of the Fahrney-Keedy Nursing Home.

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"The Careys are moving into one of our apartments rent free for the next four to six weeks while their new home is being readied," said Richard Bowman, Fahrney-Keedy administrator.

Jane Carey, 60, has worked in housekeeping at the nursing home for seven years, Bowman said. Co-workers began rallying to help her and her husband almost immediately after the explosion that leveled their Kaetzel Road house.

Seriously injured, the Careys were at the Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center for eight days.

"Both my ankles were broken and my mouth and nose were filled with debris from the explosion," George Carey said. "But, thank the Lord, I'm coming back strong."

Jane Carey also has two broken ankles, a serious knee injury, a foot injury and lots of bruises on her side. She too is thankful but can't help mourning the loss of her late mother's china and silver and other keepsakes.

George Carey said he and his wife were left with nothing.

"We lost everything we had in 30 years of marriage," he said, mentioning his guns and coin collections.

The Careys said their property is being cleared and prepared for a modular home that will be ready for occupancy in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Fahrney-Keedy employees have been preparing the apartment, Bowman said.

"I knew I had nice friends here but I never expected anything like this," Jane Carey said.

George Carey, who has worked at Eastalco in Frederick County, Md., for 17 years, said his co-workers also have helped.

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