Collinsville, Oklahoma
February 11, 2009
1956 Explosion Destroyed Limbocker Home
2008-2009 Change Along
The S-Curve Has Been Slow
It Changed In An Instant For The Limbocker Family In 1956

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Pastor Kelvin Limbocker was 4 years old and his sister Sandra 9 years old when they were blown out of their house along with the walls when it exploded May 2, 1956. They escaped serious injury but their mother Helen was seriously injured with shattered vertebra and was hospitalized for a year. The explosion of accumulated gas knocked out the walls and their mother was trapped under the roof in the wreckage of their home adjacent to the S-Curve (at 122 N. 19th Place).

Sandra and Kelvin revisted the site of their former home this week. The home was relatively new in 1956 when it exploded. Another home was then rebuilt at the same location and they grew up there. The house was sold after their father's death in 1996. That house was moved from the path of the S-Curve realignment in 2008.

My uncle Bill (above) lived at 18th and Broadway and was partners with my dad at The Collinsville News in 1956. -- Ted
This photo of the new Limbocker home was taken not long before the explosion in 1956. Kelvin and Sandra said they were asleep in the front corner bedroom (to the left) when the home exploded.
Kelvin and Sandra stopped by the Newspaper Museum Tuesday and saw (for the first time) the 1956 newspaper coverage about the explosion and their family. Sandra said about all she could actually remember was the flashing lights of the fire truck that night. After spending about a year in the hospital their mother (Helen) was finally able to come home and had only begun to walk on her own shortly before getting bone cancer. She died about three years after the explosion.
Kelvin and Sandra both graduated from Collinsville High School. Sandra lived away from Collinsville many years (including 18 years in Tampa, Florida) before returning to Collinsville less than 2 years ago. Kelvin Limbocker was in the appliance business locally for many years (with only a brief stop in Sallisaw) before becoming the pastor of the Collinsville's Faith Fellowship Church in 1998. The church was formally called the Faith Assembly Church. Pastor Limbocker was getting his shots this week in preparation for an upcoming mission trip to the Phillipines.
The house to the far right in this Jan. 2008 photo was the (2nd) former Limbocker home raised on beams in preparation for movement out of the pending S-Curve re-alignment path.