HANOVER COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – A Hanover County family is in shock after one man was killed in an explosion Monday night on Billingswood Drive.
Hanover Fire and EMS confirmed the victim, Bryson Lewis, 21, was cutting the top off of a 55-gallon barrel when flammable vapors ignited.
Devastated and through tears, Kelly Nix, Lewis’ mother, said her son was just days away from his birthday when the explosion happened.
“I’m in such disbelief that my baby’s gone,” Nix said crying.
Nix said she can’t get over the fact that she’s lost her firstborn.
“I don’t feel anything. I’m just still numb,” she told 8News in an interview Tuesday. “This was such a tragic accident that should not have happened.”
Nix said Lewis had gotten several barrels to turn into burn barrels and sell them to others.
“When he went to cut it, I guess whatever was in it just exploded,” she explained.
A power tool was still laying on the ground Tuesday morning where the accident happened. Authorities with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office were on scene Tuesday with a drone to collect evidence and data.
Lewis is leaving behind a one-year-old daughter, Charlotte Fay Lewis, and had another child on the way.
“He has another baby on the way he just found out about,” Nix said.
Nix said the baby will never get to know how loving Lewis was, except for the memories he’s leaving behind.
“He just got his own place to have his daughter,” she said. “You know, this was supposed to be his year.”
Nix said her son had his whole life ahead of him.
The Hanover Fire and EMS Office of the Fire Marshal asks all citizens to use extreme caution when working with containers that previously held flammable or combustible contents. They said extra precautions should be used, like filling the container with water or other efforts to suppress any remaining vapors prior to the use of tools that could create an ignition source.