Explosion gives Richmond Hill residents new perspective on Thanksgiving
People living in the Richmond Hill subdivision describe a very different Thanksgiving Day, one with thoughts of gratitude in the face of destruction.
On a day set aside to reflect, neighbors in Richmond Hill are overwhelmed by both the painful reminder of their losses and a much greater appreciation for their blessings.
"All the material things, they don't mean anything. What really matters are your friends and your family and the love that you have for each other," explained 19-year old Brad Colbert, who was awakened by the blast and ran to help at the scene alongside his father.
Police officers sit on 24-hour security watch, and it's clear a lot has changed following that fiery Nov. 10th explosion that killed two people and damaged 90 homes, two of them literally blown apart.
"Honestly we're just thankful for life. I mean, we have a whole new meaning of that now," said Mindi Sutton, whose house suffered damage.
"We're thankful to still have a house that's standing, because some people can't say that right now," added Chris Sutton.
Families are holding each other a little tighter as debris piles up all around. Thirty-three of the 90 homes damaged will face demolition beginning this Monday.
On Thanksgiving Day, the epicenter of the explosion sat quietly. Investigators have worked eleven days straight trying to piece together what happened.
Investigators tell Eyewitness News they're looking for key components to back up strong suspicions that the explosion was a deliberate criminal act.
The team will return on Friday, recharged to dig in deeper.
"I just hope that justice is served," said Chris Sutton. His is a prayer shared by many Richmond Hill neighbors as they give thanks.
Friday, the families from the Richmond Hill neighborhood are invited to a special Thanksgiving dinner at the Southport Presbyterian Church.
St. Luke's on 86th Street is helping to prepare the meal.