CINNAMINSON, N.J. (CBS) – Earlier this month, a gas leak sparked an explosion that leveled a home in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. The elderly homeowner spoke about her terrifying experience.

Everything 97-year-old Marion Sands owned went up in flames in an explosion that blew up, then burned down her 50-year-old Cinnaminson home on January 11. Marion and her 13-year-old dog Sandra were inside.

“After having so much of everything that I wanted, and now have really nothing,” said Marion.

On the day of the explosion, Marion said she didn’t smell gas, but says she heard a noise that resembled a hissing sound.

She thought water was leaking and was calling the water company. Instead police say it was a gas leak, and it ignited. Marion recalled the blast.

“I got hit on the head with the ceiling falling down into my rec room,” said Marion.

Instead of getting out immediately, Marion went looking for Sandra.

“I went upstairs to get her, and my whole foyer was burning that quickly, and when I turned around, my whole wall in my kitchen was gone,” she recalled.

Neighbors helped get her out of her house and paramedics got her to the hospital. She sustained injuries to her rib and above her eye.

A sweater Sandra was wearing saved her from more severe burns.

The pair are staying with friends temporarily in Bucks County where Marion has had time and space to think about how she survived.

“I feel I’m very lucky, but I mean everybody’s telling me I’m a hero but I don’t feel that way,” Marion said.

Instead she has a message for her neighbors, her heroes.

“Thank you and I appreciate everything that they did for me,” Marion said.

Watch the video…

Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3

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