It was a story almost too hard to comprehend. Eight weeks ago, a horrific explosion felt across the metro leveled the Maguire family's northeast Oklahoma City home. The home was destroyed, the Maguire family was severely injured and their 14-year-old daughter was killed instantly.
As a new day was dawning on Thursday, Sept 24, no one in the countryside Little Oaks neighborhood in Oklahoma City could have ever seen the horrific events that were about to converge on the Maguire family of four.
While his family was sleeping 47-year-old Shawn Maguire went to make a cup of coffee.
“I pressed the button, and all hell broke loose. I felt like I was flying,” recalled Shawn in an exclusive interview with News 9’s Robin Marsh.
In a flash, a propane explosion leveled the Maguire home. Neighbors rushed in and found mom Tanda and son Hayden first. Both suffered extensive second and third-degree burns. Tanda's long blonde hair melted. Twelve-year-old Hayden's injuries would require several skin grafts. Shawn took the brunt of the blast.
“I told God take me instead of them. Take me instead of them. And I just remembered praying, praying,” recalled Shawn.
While fighting for his own life, a father's heart was with his 14-year-old daughter Berklee.
“I just knew something was wrong with her in my spirit,” said Shawn.
“I think the first thing we all said is we wish it would have been all of us or none of us. Even Hayden,” said the couple.
Just five days earlier the Maguires were celebrating 14 years of life for Berklee.
“Berklee was the heart of this family, she’s a nurturer, she’s a dancer,” said Shawn.
A life taken too soon and left behind a grieving family.
“Even in the ER I asked the doctor ‘How do people do this without Jesus?’,” said Tanda. “How do you face something like this without the hope that there is something more. That’s what is impossible for me to understand.”
High above the magnitude of the blast everywhere you look, loss. And a reminder how quickly things change.
“I was this close, and I just pushed the button, and she was gone. And I lived,” cried Shawn.
“It’s just Christ within us,” said Tanda when asked how she does this. “And I don’t say that lightly, it really is. In his strength is our weakness.”
“It’s been proven to us that you really can’t do life alone,” said Tanda.
From the moment everything was lost, friends, family, even strangers have been meeting every need imaginable.
“It is overwhelming, your mind doesn’t even fully comprehend it,” said Tanda. “We have clothes, we have a car, they fully furnished our home. (They) totally knew me and knew what I liked. Decorated it like I like.”
“I told my friends, I wish I never knew how great of friends you were,” said Shawn. “That you would stay and read scripture at three in the morning because I can’t sleep because I am crying out in pain. And the only thing I could do is have someone read the bible.”
In greatest suffering the Maguires know the external will heal faster but they will stand on faith for their hearts to heal for all to see.
“We truly lived a life of family, of faith of God, of loving other people,” said Shawn.
“That song that says he gives and takes away, my heart will choose to say Blessed be the name of the Lord,” added Tanda. “I just stuck on that word ‘choose’ and it’s a choice, you know, I clearly saw two paths that I could go down. One not getting out of bed. And moving forward and trusting that there is a plan for us and just believing that God is good and it’s definitely a choice. I don’t value the things like I did before, because you know, it’s the people that matter in your life. And I would trade it all for my daughter.”
The cause of the propane leak which caused the explosion remains under investigation.
A GoFundMe account has been set up if you would like to help the family.