UPDATE: The Wayne County coroner identified the victims as Carol Kay, 69, and Franklin Kay, 75. Both deaths were ruled accidental.
DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP — Flames burned into the night following the violent explosion that destroyed a home in Damascus Township, Wayne County.
Firefighters had to draw water from the Delaware River. The same river that drew Frank and Carol Kay here 30 years ago.
The couple bought a cottage built around 1900, then 10 years ago, the snowbirds renovated it into their perfect summer haven.
Pat Ray, a neighbor and close friend, showed Newswatch 16 pictures of the Kays hanging on her wall.
Sunday night the Kays and Rays went out to celebrate Frank Kay’s 75th birthday and then returned home.
“They invited us in for coffee. We said, ‘No, we were all tired, we would go to bed.’ So we went into our house, they went into their house,” said Ray.
As Ray got ready for bed, she looked outside.
“Then all of a sudden, this loud boom. The whole house shook. It just exploded. The flames just rose because they had propane tanks there,” Ray said.
Her husband ran out and discovered his neighbors and their home were gone.
Pieces of the house still floated in the river the couple loved so much.
Pat knows if she and her husband had accepted that invitation for coffee, they could have been killed too.
“I loved them and I am going to miss them very much. Nothing is going to be the same here any more.”