Amber House Explosion Victim Always Helped Others, Family Members Say

Friday, March 20th 2015, 7:06 pm
By: News 9

An Amber family said they're reeling after the loss of a woman who helped so many in their small town.

The family said it was Katie White who died last night while helping her family investigate a propane leak that ultimately caused her death.

Just footsteps away from the Town of Amber's Fire Department, the duplex on the corner went up in flames and investigators have been on scene all day trying to better determine the cause of the deadly explosion.

3/19/2015 Related Story: One Killed, One Injured In Grady County House Explosion

“She was always doing whatever she could for whoever she could,” said Albert Ryans, the victim's brother.

Katie White's family members said she died trying to help the people she loved.

Katie's sister Leah lived in the now charred duplex with her daughter's family, which was out of town in Texas. Thursday night around 7:30 p.m. Leah smelled propane.

“She got home and she could smell some gas or something or something that wasn't right, so she asked Katie to come over and check it out for her and so she did,” Ryans explained.

The sisters found a propane leak at the wall gas heater and acted quickly.

3/20/2015 Related Story: Victim's Name Released In Amber House Explosion

“They got the kids out and sent them to the car and as they were coming out themselves is when the house blew up,” Ryans told News 9.

The couple living on the other side of the family's duplex felt the boom.

“We were looking for my cat and he went in and I saw that the back bedroom was on fire,” Stephanie Crockett, another victim of the house explosion, said.

The two got out just before their home exploded in flames.

“I feel real bad [sic] for the family that lost a loved one. I mean they got it worse than we did by far,” another victim, Christian Rhodes said.

While they were out, sisters Leah and Katie were underneath the porch.

Neighbors helped pull them out, but it was too late. Katie died and Leah broke her right leg.

Katie leaves behind a husband and seven children, including five adopted girls from ages three to 14 years old.

“Everybody in town knows she does stuff for everybody. That was her thing. She always wanted to help somebody,” Ryans said about his sister.

The grandmother Leah who lived there is now being treated at a hospital in Oklahoma City for a broken leg, while the family is making arrangements for Katie's funeral.

Learn more about the fund to help Katie White's family.

Learn more about the fund to help the couple who lost their home.