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Woman injured by bug bomb when it explodes in kitchen

By Staff | Jul 22, 2009

A bug bomb about the size of a fist transformed into what seemed like a real bomb Tuesday morning, injuring a Cape Coral woman and damaging her home in a blast.
Laurie Grabowski received first-degree burns on her legs, now wrapped in hospital gauze, but will recover from her injuries.
As the State Fire Marshal and Cape Coral Fire Department continue to investigate the incident, the Grabowski family wonders how this happened.
Laurie’s husband, Joe Grabowski, said the family has used the fumigation devices for about eight years without incident.
“I never, ever thought they could do that kind of damage,” he said. “When they called me on the phone I didn’t believe them. I thought they were just overreacting. When you look at the size of the damage, and I figure she was standing right there when it went off, I think she’s real fortunate that it wasn’t more serious than what she’s got.”
The family had recently returned from vacation and was fumigating for insects at their Balado Parkway home.
Grabowski had placed the bug bomb on a shelf under the kitchen sink for about 10 seconds when an explosion hit her, shattering a window, cracking two others, knocking a sliding glass door off its track and unhinging a dishwasher.
The blast happened at about 10:43 a.m.
“I was leaned over to close the dishwasher … and it exploded,” she said. “It pushed me back into the oven and the side of the cabinets. There were sparks underneath the sink. It felt like I was on fire.”
Her 17-year-old son, Nick, sprang from the nearby living room couch and dragged Grabowski to the shower with the help of his sister, Jamie. He then called 911.
Garrett, 21, also Grabowski’s son, drove his mother to the hospital where she was treated and released.
“It’s a miracle,” she said. “I should have been burned, with a lot more damage, for what it did all around.”
As the family counts its blessings Tuesday evening, it also remains befogged as to the cause of the blast.
The dishwasher, which investigators said Tuesday may have been the source of the explosion, was not running, said Joe Grabowski.
Officials continue to investigate.