Our family operated the Sunoco service station on Madison Avenue just north of Epler Avenue. One evening in the early fall I had gone home from the station for dinner, during which I heard an explosion.
Within a few minutes I heard the sirens of several emergency vehicles, and I could tell that they were stopping fairly close to our house. I finished my meal and headed toward where the vehicles seemed to have stopped.
In just a few minutes I was getting out of my car, which I had parked on Bryan Drive in the Perry Manor subdivision. I could see lots of emergency vehicles on Busy Bee Lane and started to walk in that direction.
I was about halfway across the area that had been blocked off from spectators when a lady came running up from behind me and grabbed my arm. She was screaming and said her husband had been working on a furnace in a house on Busy Bee. She was frightened that he was in the explosion.
Because she had a firm grip on my arm, we were ushered through and allowed to get close to the burning house. Her husband had indeed been working on home that blew up. He had not been hurt and was walking toward us. I recognized him as Mr. Albaugh, and I knew two of the couple’s sons.
I also realized that William “Bill” Falvey, who was one of our longtime customers, owned the house. I was assured that no one was home and no one was injured.
I was amazed that I had personal connections with almost everyone involved in the explosion. I was thinking about that when it occurred to me that I was supposed to be at work.
It took a long time to get back to my car because I was asked hundreds of questions by friends and stranger.
I finally got back to the service station and had to tell my story.
The next day my good friend and fellow worker George Frye came to work and had an interesting story to share. He explained that on the evening before he had been mowing his yard when all of a sudden William Falvey’s cancelled checks came floating down from the sky onto his freshly mowed yard, which was about six blocks from the Falveys. George didn’t hear the explosion because of the noise from his mower; he had learned about it later that evening.
I had recalled this incident after the home explosion in the Richmond Hill subdivision in November 2012. I was reminded of it again as I watched the news concerning a change of venue for one of the upcoming trials.
Then a couple of days ago I drove past Busy Bee Lane.