Widow left with ruined house after explosion

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Catherine Laake's life was turned upside down when her ceiling suddenly collapsed on her.

"I couldn't get out of bed," said Laake.

The drywall had caved in, the walls cracked and the home shifted off the foundation. In her living room, you can even see slivers of grass from how far it shifted over.

Then, on Tuesday, after five days of turmoil, the 77-year-old widow had a glimmer of hope.

Watson Grinding and Manufacturing had vowed to take care of the expenses for the damaged homes.

"I hope and pray that they do," said Laake.

By the afternoon, that changed. Watson said it's too early to determine fault or who will pay.

They released a statement saying in part, "To correct comments I made earlier today, no claims process has been established at this time. Who is at fault and who will pay for damages cannot be determined at this early stage."

ABC13 then shared that news with Catherine and her daughter, Rebecca.

"We're all going to have to pay for our own misery, it sounds like," said Laake.

"We were happy there was light at the end of the tunnel and now, it's all taken away," said Rebecca, Catherine's daughter.

Catherine is moving out of her home for now. She still works full-time but now, her home office is in a moving truck.

"I hope I can pay my bills and get by," said Laake.

As they work to move forward, the company walking back on their promise feels like yet another obstacle to overcome.

"It's been such a traumatic experience. I am saddened by this," said McKeehan.

There's a fundraiser on Facebook for people who want to help Laake.

Follow Marla Carter on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.