Peosta explosion burn victims return home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Peosta explosion burn victims return home

DYERSVILLE (KWWL) -- The three workers from August's rural Peosta basement explosion appeared Saturday at a benefit for the men.

Brad Mahoney of Dyersville and brothers Adam and Scott Conrad of Delhi were working for a construction company called Distinctive Crete. While on a job in the basement of a rural Peosta home August 3, something ignited fumes from construction materials, and the basement exploded.

The men made it out with third-degree burns covering more than 50 percent of their bodies, landing them in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for initial recovery and later at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.

A benefit at the Dyersville Commercial Club Park raised money for future expenses the men may incur, since Mahoney's father Randy said Distinctive Crete's insurance has covered much of the cost so far.

The parents of the three burned workers have a motto for their sons' recoveries.

"From Tragedy to Triumph," Randy Mahoney read off the back of his wife Kori's shirt. Many supporters at Saturday's benefit wore the T-shirts, which were for sale.

Hundreds of people showed up to the benefit, including Mary Smock, the principal at the school where Kori Mahoney works.

"I went down to the hospital two days after the accident just to support Kori, and was able to see Brad at that time," Smock said. "I'm just amazed at the difference in how he looks. He looks wonderful. At that point, I was pretty afraid for him."

"It's not every day that three guys get involved in an explosion and get burns to that extent," Randy Mahoney said. "Now we feel they've triumphed just because they're getting beyond it and are able to come home at this point."

Brad Mahoney, a 2010 high school graduate, has been at home with his parents in Dyersville for about three weeks.

"He's going through physical therapy and getting better and better every day," his dad said.

Brothers Scott and Adam Conrad spent the first night out of the hospital since August 3 on Saturday, at their parents' home in Delhi.

"They're all three walking. There's a little bit left to deal with as far as infection. The main thing they're up against now is getting strong and being able to make sure that they have full range of motion," Randy Mahoney said.

Mahoney said his son is ready to move on to the next step in life.

"He wants to get back into something towards what a normal 18-year-old would be into right now, and that's college," Randy Mahoney said.

Brad Mahoney's original fall 2010 plans included attending college in Washington state, but his father said he'll be attending Loras College in Dubuque for the time being, starting in January, so he can stay close to his medical treatment.

As for the Conrads, after the night at their parents' house, the brothers will return to the hospital for another few weeks. Their parents Connie and Dale Conrad said their hope has always been for the Christmas presence of their sons.

Anyone interested in donating can give to the Conrad-Mahoney fun at branches of Community Savings Bank.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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