‘There was no house’

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‘There was no house’

Family of 3 survives ‘devastating’ explosion
Dog found alive after hourslong search

A chocolate Lab was pulled from the remains of a home that exploded Tuesday north of Lemon Reservoir – 16 hours after the blast.
The family dog belongs to Tim and Karen Kelley and their 9-year-old daughter, Cameron.
Durango resident John Glover said he and a couple of friends formed a search party Wednesday to look for the dog, Rocko.
Tim Kelley, who works in the gas industry, brings the dog to work every day, Glover said. Kelley’s office is located near Mountain Bike Specialists, 949 Main Ave., where Glover works.
The dog makes frequent visits to the bike shop, which keeps treats on hand specifically for Rocko, Glover said.
The search group looked for several hours without luck.
“We were losing hope,” Glover said. “We really wanted to find him one way or another.”
Glover said he looked down and saw Rocko underneath a piece of metal.
“He was not whimpering or whining; he was out of it, but alive,” Glover said.
The men loaded the dog into a firefighting vehicle, and he was driven to Riverview Animal Hospital in Durango – with firefighters using the siren when necessary.
Randy Hays, a veterinarian at Riverview, said it is too early to know what kind of recovery Rocko will make.
The blast caused injuries to the dog’s heart, lungs and liver.
Rocko was resting Wednesday evening in an oxygen cage with pain medications.
“He’s certainly stable,” Hays said. “So far, he’s responding well to medications. The next 24 to 48 hours will be when we get to see how well he responds to these medications.”
Rocko is able to lift his head, but that’s about it.
“He hasn’t quite wagged his tail yet, and he hasn’t licked anybody yet,” Hays said. “Hopefully we’ll see those coming.”
shane@durangoherald.com

Rocko’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story. Incorrect information was provided to the Herald.

To help

Two funds have been set up to assist the Kelley family. One is at Wells Fargo Bank called the Kelley Family Assistance Fund. The other is at Bank of Colorado called the Kelley Family Fund.
For updates on the family, visit www.kelleyfamilydurango.com.

‘There was no house’

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$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Emergency medical personnel load one of the victims of a house explosion into a helicopter about 11 p.m. Tuesday on La Plata County Road 243 near Lemon Reservoir.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$
Butch Knowlton, director of the La Plata County Office of Emergency Management, inspects the remains of Tim and Karen Kelley’s home at 6541 County Road 243 north of Lemon Reservoir.
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Veterinarian Randy Hays of Riverview Animal Hospital examines Rocko, a 6-year-old chocolate Labrador, on Wednesday as technician Becky Caldwell holds an oxygen mask for the Kelleys’ dog. Rocko had been found earlier in the debris field of the Kelleys’ house, which exploded Tuesday night. Rocko suffered smoke inhalation along with singed fur, blunt trauma to the head and concussive forces to the chest resulting in a cardiac arrhythmia, but he was showing signs of improvement, Hayes said.
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$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Butch Knowlton, director of La Plata County Office of Emergency Management, looks over what is left of a house on La Plata County Road 243 on the north end of Lemon Reservoir. Tim and Karen Kelley and their daughter, Cameron, 9, were injured when the house exploded.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$
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A picture frame rests in a tree about 30 yards from the destroyed house.
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$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Butch Knowlton, director of La Plata County Office of Emergency Management, looks at the remains of a house on La Plata County Road 243 on the north end of Lemon Reservoir. Leaking propane is suspected of igniting, destroying the house and injuring three people.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$
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$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$A helicopter takes off about 11 p.m. Tuesday with a victim of the house explosion on La Plata County Road 243 on the north end of Lemon Reservoir.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$
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