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Passerby Helps When Motorhome Explodes

Passerby Helps When Motorhome Explodes

Posted - Sep. 24, 2004 at 10:04 p.m.



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Keith McCord reportingA British Columbia couple is recovering from burns they received when their motorhome exploded yesterday. Their injuries could have been much worse, had it not been for some helpful citizens who came running!

For Julie Scott, it started out as just another routine Thursday morning-- getting off the bus, and walking a few blocks to work.

But, yesterday morning was anything BUT routine!

Julie Scott: "And it just exploded right there in front of me. Of course, my first reaction is that it's some kind of promotion, some kind of movie."

It wasn't. A propane tank exploded inside of Pete and Mary Makowishuk's motorhome. They parked there overnight, on their way from Canada to the Grand Canyon.

"It almost imploded. The whole top and side went up and then collapsed back on itself."

The shock wave from the blast almost knocked her down.

After seeing the explosion, Julie and another man on the bus sprinted about 150 yards to the motorhome, not knowing if anyone inside was still alive.

Julie briefed emergency crews when they arrived what was going on. Mr. Makowishuk was still on the bed; and his wife Mary was covered with debris, burned and bleeding.

"We were with her. We talked to her, made sure that we kept her talking so that she wouldn't go into shock, fall asleep or pass out or anything like that."

Julie, who says she has a basic knowledge in first aid, was careful in making sure the woman wasn't moved; others on the scene used a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire.

Hero? Not Julie. She says she just reacted the way anyone would in the same situation.

"By the time police got here there were seven to ten people that were doing the same thing, looking at what they could help with and they were helping right along."

Julie walked past the scene again this morning, on her way to work. Seeing the scattered mess, she's still amazed that the couple from British Columbia survived.

Mary Makowishuck remains in the burn unit at University Hopsital. She's expected to remain there for a couple of weeks. Her husband, Pete, was treated and released.

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