NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) — Del Allen, 75, is a plumber who was working at a New Haven home on Woodmere Drive last Thursday when the house burst into flames.
One of his daughters, Crystal Wilson, said she and her siblings were told there was a gas leak inside of the home and investigators are still looking into what caused the explosion. She said they were told something as small as flipping a light switch or the furnace kicking on could be the cause when there’s a gas leak.
Wilson told WANE 15 her father had his first of many procedures on Monday. She adds that doctors anticipate him being in the hospital for at least a month before he’ll have to transfer to a rehab center.
Allen was badly burned, especially on his back and on his right hand and forearm. Due to the burns, there’s a high risk for infections, Wilson said. He’s been intubated for the majority of his time in the hospital.
The family hopes he’ll continue to fight through it.
“My dad is just a very motivated person, and he has a very strong will to live,” Wilson said. “So, we’re very hopeful he’s going to survive this.”
Wilson and her siblings haven’t had a chance to connect with the homeowner, who asked to not be identified when WANE 15 spoke with him last week, and with Shawn Thomson. He’s the neighbor who lives across the street who says he pulled Allen out of the burning house.
Wilson said the homeowner found a way to get in touch with one of her sisters.
“The homeowner was just so sweet and so compassionate. He said he didn’t even care about anything in the house. He just cared about making sure our dad was OK, and that means a lot to us,” Wilson said.
Her message for Thomson: “Thank you. Thank you for saving our father. Thank you for being brave.”
While the family continues to support Allen in every way they can, Wilson says the support from the community — especially people who are complete strangers to them — has been overwhelming and they’re very thankful for it.
According to Wilson, Allen has spoken since he’s been in the hospital, but for the most part, he hasn’t been able to talk much due to being on a ventilator.
She and her siblings created a GoFundMe page for their dad, which has collected more than $9,000 at the time of this report.