Southeast side residents living a new reality after fatal explosion


It has been a long time since anyone had to stick to a curfew, but in the wake of a massive southeast side explosion, one resident said she is OK with it.

"I feel like they're handling it," Rachelle Vaughn said.  "And everything is secure.  And I feel safe."

Vaughn is one of the residents whose been allowed to move back into their homes in the Richmond Hill subdivision.

Nothing in the neighborhood has been the same since the massive explosion that erupted Saturday night, killing two people and forcing hundreds from their homes.

For one thing, once Vaughn arrives at her home, she is told to stay there.

"We're not allowed to walk around," she said.  "If we do go somewhere, it's if we're helping someone get their belongings out.  And we have to sign up at the church."

Investigators want to protect evidence as well as the people who live nearby.

Vaughn said she is actually starting to form a bond with the police officers who stand outside on her street throughout the day and night.

"We let the policemen use our bathroom," she said.  "We give them water and coffee, so our door is always unlocked."

However, the situation does make her nervous at times. Even though her door is unlocked, they don't open it for anyone but police officers. She and her family also continue to feel jumpy after the thunderous blast that shook the ground Saturday night. The sounds of construction and demolition don't sound like they used to.

"We all are playing what happened in our mind, and we hear noises and we jump," Vaughn said.

Vaughn said she is thankful for the security around the subdivision, and she's learning to accept it as the new reality until the perimeter around her neighborhood is lifted.

"I heard that the police will be in front of our house until next Friday," she said.  "So they should probably still have this going on until at least next Friday."

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