Home destroyed by giant gas blast is rebuilt brick-by-brick
A mum who was left homeless after her bungalow was blown to pieces in a devastating gas blast has finally been able to spend Christmas at home. Michele Wright was able to move back into the property just in time for New Year after it was rebuilt brick by brick.
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The 56-year-old university lecturer's four-bed home was wrecked in a giant explosion while she was on holiday in September 2013, Wales Online reported, and she had to start from scratch to build a new place to live. Now she has finally back in her own home in Beulah, near Newcastle Emlyn, West Wales, after three years of heartache, insurance bureaucracy and building work.
She said: "I'm a long way from being settled back in but it is a huge relief to be home. Finally - it is a sugary sweet and sour experience.
"I lost absolutely everything after the house went. I had a suitcase of summer clothes, some toiletries and sun cream but all my pictures and memories and keepsakes were lost. It was devastating. But I want to put all that behind me."
Police called Michele whilst she was enjoying a two-week holiday with her daughter, Rhiannon, 27. Before leaving for the airport they had scrubbed the house from top to bottom, determined to return to a sparkling clean home. Michele, a photography lecturer at Trinity St David's University in Carmarthen, said: "No one wants to come home to a mess. We were having a lovely relaxing break until the call came at 3am to tell me about the house."
We stayed the rest of the holiday but I couldn't enjoy it. Rhiannon kept reminding me that it was okay. Nobody was hurt that was the main thing." Feeling beside herself with worry, Michele posted a status on Facebook: "Apparently my house has just exploded and I'm homeless. Really."
Now she is rebuilding a life and treasures the possessions that were salvaged from the property. Michele said: "I had to start again and I was bereft. I lost all the trinkets and keepsakes that I had collected over the years. It was the items with sentimental value that I was most upset to have lost. It was a relief to find that my £4000 Hasselblad camera was safe. But I lost all my photographs and negatives from exhibitions and shows I'd taken part in.Now I feel like I am starting again."
Michele's new home is a four bedroom dormer bungalow - with a new conservatory and underfloor heating. She is still awaiting delivery of a new sofa, but hopes to put the finishing touches to her decorating soon. She said: "I am proud of the house as it is now but truthfully I wish I could have just stayed as I was."I loved my home, it was my private sanctuary in a quiet corner of West Wales. This experience has been so draining and I have felt every emotion. Now I'm looking forward to being back home where I belong."