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Homeowners continue to recover after blast

By Jessica Rodrigo
June 2, 2014 at 1:02 a.m.

The force of the blast from an explosion rocked houses and shattered many windows in the Whispering Oaks Drive neighborhood as residents cope with the loss of their friend Haley Singer, who died when her home exploded.

It's been a slow week for residents living in the Oak Colony Estates subdivision.

Homeowners Wayne and Catherine Nutter haven't spent a day away from their home since an explosion Wednesday morning leveled the house two doors down.

Haley Singer, 26, and her daughter, Parker, 41/2 months old, were found buried in the rubble of their two-story home at 801 Whispering Oaks Drive. Singer did not survive, and Parker survived with scratches and bruises. She was released Thursday.

The cause of explosion and Singer's death are still under investigation, said Ron Pray, Victoria County Fire Marshal.

"Nothing has changed since we started this," he said Monday.

Officials have completed examining the property and are waiting for test and analysis results before moving forward in the investigation, he said.

Meanwhile, nearby neighbors, like the Nutters, are trying to get back to where they were before the explosion.

"Life is slowly getting back to normal one day at a time," said Wayne Nutter, 58, from a chair on his back porch. "As best as normal as possible. It's gonna be a long time."

The green grass and trees looked undisturbed from his vantage point, but a walk from the patio around to his driveway would tell another story.

Several windows facing the cul-de-sac were damaged. The garage doors were also damaged, blown in from the powerful blast.

"There's Sheetrock damage in just about every room of the house," Nutter said.

An insurance adjuster is scheduled to visit his home early Tuesday morning to assess the damages to his home, he said.

"I can't imagine what it's like to be displaced," said Catherine Nutter, 58.

Other homeowners in the neighborhood declined to comment Monday afternoon.

Pray said it is not unusual to experience a wait for the test results to come back.

"We will continue to work on this," Pray said.

Because of the public nature of the incident, Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor has assured residents and the family of the victims that the incident would not become a spectacle.

"People are going to be curious as to going by and looking at the residence," he said.

Officers will be posted in the area and patrolling frequently throughout the day, O'Connor said, to deter any possible criminal activity.

If residents see any activity, he encourages them to call the sheriff's office.

"We have a continuing order to frequent the neighborhood," he said.

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