Amanda Raus, Chris Podosek
Randy Fera speaks about the day when a routine job turned into a fight for survival.
Randy Fera doesn't remember much about the Sept. 10 explosion that nearly killed him.
Fera and co-worker Gary Henry went to 67 Wopowog Trail in Shelton for a job for Pioneer Gas and Appliance.
“It's just a routine change-out. We were putting gas back in and light up both pilots for the homeowner,” said Fera.
But when they were inside, Fera remembers there was a little problem. The gas line was open, and it was leaking into the house. Fera bled the line, opened all the doors and windows and ventilated the house until the homeowner got home. More than half an hour later, everything was checked again seemed fine.
“Then I went to light the water heater, and all I remember, I saw in slow motion the flames going by,” said Fera.
The rest is a blur.
“I don't know how I got out of the house, I don't remember. I do remember there was a wall that got blown out. I went through an opening in the wall,” said Fera.
Once outside, he found a hose and started spraying his body, which was on fire.
“I'm looking at my hands going 'this, I don't know how I'm picking this hose up, my hands are totally gone,'” he said.
He remembers screaming for help.
“The neighbors over there were absolutely incredible. They grabbed the hose from me. They were squirting me with the hose,” said Fera.
Then the ambulance showed up, and took Fera away.
“All the skin on my hands were peeling off. When I looked down, I said there’s no human that can go through this and live. How does the body tolerate this?” he asked.
Fera knows that it will be a long road to recovery and he says he's working with the doctors at Bridgeport Hospital to make sure that happens.
“I just wondered how it was possible that anyone could survive the injuries, let alone the explosion. We were in an explosion. The house blew apart to a point, and we were in the middle of that. And I wondered how is it possible anyone could survive that. But we did. Here I am,” said Fera.