News: Victim of blast had smelled gas, says grieving fiancee

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Published in the June 22 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


Victim of blast had smelled gas, says grieving fiancee

The fiancee of a man killed in a deadly house explosion says her partner smelled gas in their home right before the fatal blast.

Amy Fuechtmann said fiance Brad Winter made the observation Sunday before the house next to them at 18011 91A St. — now a crater in the ground — blew up, killing a woman and three men, including 26-year-old Winter.

“We were going to go to my dad’s for a barbecue,” Fuechtmann said over the phone.

“I was upstairs… lying on my bed and then the roof was on me.”

Fuechtmann and her three-year- old son Jacob were pulled out of the collapsed home by neighbours, but Winter and another man who lived in the house, his friend Craig Huber, 30, did not make it out of the explosion alive.

“I’m not coping well,” Fuechtmann said quietly.

The 20-year-old had been with Winter for two years.

Neighbours described Winter and Huber as nice and friendly men.

“They’d stop and talk to me while I’m standing out in my driveway,” said Claudio Frigo, who lives just down the block from the site of the explosion.

“They had motorcycles, and my sons are interested in motorcycles, so they would talk to them about it.”

Frigo, who was one of the first people on scene helping to pull Fuechtmann and Jacob out of the rubble, said Winter and Huber also had two dogs and he often saw them walking the German shepherds around the neighbourhood.

Emotional posts poured onto the wall of a Facebook memorial group created Monday for the two men.

“Wow I can’t believe this actually happened. R.I. P Brad and Craig,” one person wrote.

“I love you son, my wonderful precious son,” wrote Winter’s mother, Debbie.

A remembrance celebration and fundraiser is being planned for the two friends for Friday night at Zocca’s Pizzeria in the north end.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the cause of death for Winter, Huber and the other man and woman killed.

Fuechtmann and her son are currently staying with Fuechtmann’s mother.

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