Louisiana woman recovering from home explosion

By Keitha Nelson - bio | email

JACKSON, LA (WAFB) - A Jackson, Louisiana woman continues her recovery in the burn unit of the Baton Rouge General after surviving the explosion of her home Monday.

The cause of that explosion is still not completely clear, but authorities believe it may have been caused by a natural gas leak. Connie McMillin's older sister says it's been tough seeing Connie in the hospital with a breathing tube and burns on more than half of her body.

"She had waist length hair," Faye Talbot remembers. "They said when she came out of the house, her hair was on fire. They cut all of her hair off." It's difficult to believe someone actually made it out alive, but Connie McMillin did just that.

Faye Talbot says her sister got help that day, and the love from friends and neighbors is still pouring in: from a heart-wrenching rescue of one of McMillin's three birds, to the phone calls and prayers.

McMillin's two dogs also made it out of the rubble alive, but with burns to their eyes. Currently, the pair cannot see. As for McMillin, Talbot says, "She's so swollen. If I had walked in the room and didn't know, I wouldn't know it was her." Talbot says McMillin does not appear to be conscious, but she still gets an ear-full from visitors.

McMillin does not have any children, but her 10 animals who were also in the house during the explosion are just like family. Two of her five cats have been found, along with two of her three birds and her dogs.

A fund has been set up to help McMillin, who has lost everything. You can make a donation in her name at any Highlands Bank.