BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A home exploded outside of Boulder Saturday night and an elderly woman couldn’t get out on her own.

Marvyl Holder, 83, was sleeping when her home located on Jay Road outside of Boulder city limits blew apart. Neighbor John Walpole stepped up to try to save the woman’s life.

“I freaked. I’ve never been so worked up in my life,” Walpole said.

Walpole was watching TV just before midnight when he heard a loud explosion. He went outside and saw his neighbor’s home on fire.

“I came back in, immediately called 911, ran over there, tried get in the back door, couldn’t get in,” he said.

Smoke was billowing from the home and he could see flames from one of the front windows. He knew his 83-year-old neighbor was still trapped inside.

“She got blown out of her bed by the explosion. They found her on the floor between the bed and the wall,” Walpole said.

An image of the home (credit: CBS)

An image of the home (credit: CBS)

Thankfully firefighters were able to rescue Holder.

“Preliminarily it looks like there was an explosion in the basement,” Jeff Webb with Boulder Rural Fire Protection District said.

Not just one, but two explosions rocked Holder’s house off its foundation. The second one happened as she was being carried out. Firefighters believe if she wasn’t in bed, she could have died.

“She’s extremely lucky to get out with just the minor scrapes that she has,” Webb said.

“She said, ‘Wow, I’m still alive,’ ” Walpole said. “She handled it really well.”

Walpole is just thankful that he was still awake when the explosion happened and was able to call for help before it was too late.

Holder has lived in the home for 40 years, but now it’s a total loss. For now she is staying at her daughter’s home.


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