LIMA — You can call it a miracle, if you like.
Scott Mauk won’t argue with you.
The son of Fran and Jim Mauk said Friday his parents “are progressing and heading in the right direction” after they somehow survived a powerful explosion Monday that leveled their home and tossed debris into the tops of trees.
It took firefighters more than 50 minutes to dig through the rubble and extricate both of the Mauks. They remain at Lima Memorial Health System.
Frances Mauk, 70, is a retired nurse. According to Scott, she suffered a fractured right hip that is now repaired and healing.
James Mauk, 68, is a Ford Motor Co. retiree. Scott said his dad suffered a fractured right femur, fractured wrist, broken back, fractured left fibula and tibia and multiple rib fractures. He had no soft tissue or organ damage.
“The ribs did what they were supposed to do,” said Scott Mauk. “He was relatively healthy coming in, and the doctor said relatively healthy people have a quicker turnaround.”
With both parents recovering, Mauk and his sister, Amy Mauk Grigsby, felt it was time to let the public know how their parents were doing and to thank everyone for their prayers of support.
“They’re talking about maybe getting Mom to the rehab floor on Sunday. So she’s heading in the right direction, and Dad’s making some progress. They’re recovering, it’s just going to be a while. It beats the alternative. God is good,” said Scott Mauk. “We want to thank the community for their prayers and support. I talked to a couple of the EMS Bath personnel, and there were others there. What those people do is amazing. They’ve got families, and they go into places like that and we’re just grateful for those people that responded right away.”
Mauk is a true believer in helping the Bath Fire Department — even more so after he saw how they handled the rescue and explosion of his parents’ house.
“I told a guy I was talking to yesterday that if you guys ever have anything on the ballot and you need support, you let me know and I’ll stand out front and preach from the mountainside about how great a job you guys do and how appreciated it is,” he said.
As far as the investigation into the reason for the explosion, Scott and his sister are leaving it to the experts.
“At this point anything would be speculation. Just because the way the structure of the house is, the investigators really haven’t been able to get in there safely and do a thorough investigation. So we’re going to let them handle that and leave it up to their expertise. Wherever the investigation leads, it leads. They’re just at this point trying to get information from us as far as the appliances and where they were serviced, where they were purchased, whether there is maintenance on them and stuff like that, so we’re trying to get stuff to them. When they can get in there, they can kind of work backwards. And they said we may not know, but that’s okay, too,” he said.
Scott Mauk and his sister are concentrating on their parents’ recovery. Jim Mauk was in the Navy, and his unit holds reunions every two years. This summer, his parents were in New Orleans attending the reunion and dancing.
“I told Dad we need to get them better for D.C. in 2019,” he said.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.