DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP — Crews are recovering two bodies in the rubble after an explosion at a home in Wayne County.
Two people were inside the house along the Delaware River when the explosion happened around 10:30 p.m. Sunday.
It was a morning of searching for the cause of the explosion, and searching for two victims who have now been recovered.
Two bodies have been removed from the scene. The Wayne County coroner has not confirmed the identification of the victims but friends who saw them just minutes before the explosion say they have no doubt about who was inside that house.
Frank and Carol Kay spent summers in their home on River Road along the Delaware in Wayne County.
They had just returned from celebrating Frank Kay’s 75th birthday when something went terribly wrong.
From the New York side of the river, you can see the damage. The explosion and the fire that followed leveled the home along River Road in Damascus Township, just across the Delaware from Callicoon, New York.
People across the river felt the blast.
“All I heard was a great big explosion and it shook my house,” said Eva Wallace. “We thought it was fireworks at first and we turned around and saw the flames.”
It was a sad time for Andy Ray. He was with the couple who lived there just before the explosion. They were his friends, and had just returned from a fun Father’s Day and birthday celebration in Monticello.
“We all said ‘good night and I’ll see you tomorrow,’ and then the big explosion.”
It was an explosion so big, it leveled the home.
The home that exploded sat right on the Delaware River, so recovery teams and investigators had to search from above and below. They poked through the rubble once the flames were out and boats were launched in to the Delaware. It was clear debris was in the water. They wanted to know if one of the victims was there, too.
Barbara Manfra was part of Sunday night’s party.
“Everybody loves them, a very giving, very giving people. They’re going to be missed. ”
Manfra said it’s shocking how someone could be beside you one minute, and gone the next.
State police investigators believe the blast was fueled by propane but have not officially determined the cause.
The Kays were well-known on both sides of the river, in New York State they owned the Callicoon Flea Market.
The couple was in the process of retiring and spending time with their seven grandchildren.