GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport family is thankful to be alive after an explosion rocked their home Wednesday morning.
"I don't know what I would have done with myself," said Laporsha Simmons.
She knows the situation could have been much worse. While she and her three children were away from the house, the unimaginable happened.
A gas explosion ripped through their home on Tandy Drive in Gulfport, leaving the west side of the house in ruins.
"Thank God nobody was home. Homeowner said everything was normal before she left," said Gulfport Fire District Chief Mike Bond.
While investigators were digging through the debris, family members gathered for support. Simmons' father, Tyran Gable, said if this would have happened a day earlier, he may not be seeing his daughter and grandkids today.
"It's a blessing they started school up here today, because they would have been up in there, and that would have been an awful thing. Man, I don't want to think that. I don't want to think like that, really," said Gable.
No one wanted to think of what could have happened. Neighbor Rodrick Clark remembers the earth shattering boom he felt from just a few houses down.
"I was sitting in the house, and the whole house shook," said Clark.
He immediately ran outside to find his neighbor's house in shambles.
"I ain't never saw it before in my life. Not around here, in my life," said Clark.
As for Simmons, she's just thankful that she and her children are safe and sound.
"Thank God. That's all I can say," she said fighting back tears.
Investigators are still working to find the cause of the blast. Four dogs were in the house at the time of the explosion, but the fire department got them out safely.