Aunt of kids injured in Vernon home explosion talks with News 8

WTNH/Josh Scheinblum


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Jennifer Kerstetter has been spending lots of time at the hospital recently.

“Really just making sure that the kids have somebody with them all the time,” said Kerstetter. “They need to be comforted right now.”

Related Content: Vernon home explodes, collapses with people trapped inside

Trips to the hospital have become part of her routine after the Vernon home her sister-in-law, Nicole Kerstetter, and her family lived in exploded nearly a week ago. Investigators have determined it was caused by a propane leak.

“I just know they didn’t think that there was any problems with anything in the house,” said Kerstetter.

Related Content: Propane blamed for Vernon house explosion; tips for using it safely

Seven people were taken to the hospital after the incident. Among them include Jennifer’s niece, nephews, a family friend, Nicole’s fiancé, along with her father and Nicole herself. Jennifer tells us all have been released, but three.

“Her daughter had minor injuries, she just required some stitches and her fiancé had some broken bones,” said Kerstetter.

Jennifer says those that remain under hospital supervision include Nicole and two of her sons, ages 15 and 7 respectively. She didn’t want to discuss the injuries the three are suffering from specifically, but did express all have broken bones and that Nicole has begun “getting up a little bit.”

“There’s a lot of broken bones between the three of them,” said Kerstetter. “The boys have started some physical therapy.”

Related Content: All victims of Vernon home explosion expected to survive

Jennifer adds her family has been deeply moved by the outpouring of support they’ve received. So far she says members of the community have donated clothing and thousands of dollars to the Kerstetter family.

“We’ve been doing laundry all night, every night sorting them for the kids,” said Kerstetter. “That outpouring has been phenomenal.”

One group helping the Kerstetter family is a Vernon based non-profit called the Cornerstone foundation.

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