Hundreds affected by explosion pack northwest side church seeking help

District A city council member Amy Peck started Wednesday night's town hall meeting by asking those affected by last Friday's explosion to raise their hands.

Everyone in the crowd raised a hand.

600 people were expected to attend, but it looked like more than that showed up with the crowd spilling into the hallways.

In the city's most recent count, 450 structures were damaged from the blast at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing Company. 35 of those structures sustained major damage.

Some of those at the town hall meeting lost everything and no longer have a home that's considered safe.

"The house literally came off the foundation and was dropped down," said Bridgett Burnam. "We go upstairs and my grandchildren who are four and seven the roof literally collapsed on top of them."

Several city departments and nonprofits were there to help affected residents with just about every type of service from housing to mental health assistance.

State Representative Jarvis Johnson warned the crowd to be aware of unscrupulous contractors preying on those in a time of need.

Those who attended hope to learn what caused the major blast left disappointed. The investigation into that continues.