John Wilkinson was critically injured, and his friend, Tony Fratino, killed in a propane explosion at Wilkinson's New Milford Home Aug. 29. Fratino's 9-year-old son, Nicky, was also injured.
The man critically injured in a house explosion in New Milford last month continues to recover at Bridgeport Hospital.
John Wilkinson survived the propane blast that destroyed his home on Sunny Valley Drive Aug. 29. Tony Fratino Jr., Wilkinson's friend, was killed in the explosion. Fratino had come to Wilkinson's home to help fix a propane leak. Fratino's 9-year-old son, Nicky, was also seriously injured in the blast.
In a statement released Thursday, Alice Wilkinson, the wife of John Wilkinson, spoke about the explosion, and expressed gratitude for the support the family has received from the community.
"The Wilkinson Family would like to thank the community for all of their support. The generosity that we have been shown is truly overwhelming. We will forever be grateful for all that our family and friends have done and continue to do for us."
"Tony Fratino was the best friend a person could ask for and he will always be in our thoughts and prayers, as are his sons, family and friends. No one should have to bear such a loss."
"John is blessed to be recovering from multiple broken bones and burns. He has had the best of care at Bridgeport Hospital and will be continuing to recover every day. We are blessed to have our entire family. The loss of our home is inconsequential in comparison to the miracle that allowed John and Nicky to survive on the night of the blast."
Wilkinson said they got some good news about the family pet missing since the explosion.
"We were able to reunite my six year old Everett with his cat, Peach. Peach had been missing for a couple of days and then spotted at the site, but no one could catch him. He came out when he heard me call him and let me box him up. He was singed, but OK. It was a great moment being able to hand him back to Everett," she said.
Organizers have planned a bake sale Saturday. Sept. 8, to raise money for the Wilkinson and Fratino families. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4.p.m in front of the Aurora Photography Studio at 162 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. Click here for more information.
Two funds have also been established to help the victims. Checks can be made payable to the "Fratino Family Support Fund" and the "Wilkinson Family Support Fund" which are both set up at the Community Credit Union of New Milford, 145 Danbury Road, New Milford 06776.