Lisa Tremblay and her husband were inside their Edgewood Avenue home in Shelton Thursday night when their son, Joey, went to the garage down the driveway from the house to get a manual from his toolbox.
“He literally walked in the door, was in there a matter of seconds . . . and it exploded,” she said.
“The explosion was unbelievable. It was so loud. I grabbed my phone because I knew something significant had happened. I never thought in a million years it was at my own home.”
Investigators are trying to piece together what happened.
Fire Marshal James Tortora said Monday that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
He said hasn’t yet talked to Joey, but hoped to interview him soon to narrow down how the explosion happened.
Lisa’s son, Joey Tremblay III, was in surgery Monday afternoon for a skin graft operation as part of what will be a long road to recovery.
“It’s going to be several months until he gets back to where he was,” she said.
Joey’s girlfriend, Courtney, has set up a gofundme page to help Joey and his family with expenses.
As of about noon Monday it had raised nearly $2,500 of its $5,000 goal.
Joey was badly injured in the explosion, Lisa said. It blasted him about 15 feet through the air.
He suffered first-degree burns to his face and neck, as well as third-degree burns the entire length of his arms and hands.
But is still fortunate, his mother said.
“Luckily he was near the door when the explosion happened,” Lisa said. “It blew him out. That’s basically what saved his life.”
Joey, 21, is a 2014 graduate of Emmett O’Brien Technical School’s automotive program, Lisa said.
He lost his full-time job — and medical insurance — at A Quick Pick Crane a few months back.
He works in landscaping and does fall cleanups and snowplowing in the winter, his mother said. He’s always helping friends and neighbors when they need a mechanic.
Lisa said doctors haven’t given the family a detailed prognosis yet, but Joey will need a nurse to be at the house and physical therapy several times a week when he gets out of the hospital.
Lisa said she’s been heartened by all the people — even former teachers of Joey’s from years ago — who have reached out or donated since the fire.
Every donation will help, she said.
“Every single thing that Joey uses to help people was in that garage,” she said. “His tools, everything. He lost absolutely everything.”