Blast Victim Shares Story

On Friday afternoon, Mario Garcia, the victim of an explosion in the back yard of a home in unincorporated Escondido, was just beginning to recover from his injuries.
The 49-year-old father of three was badly burned on the left side of his body when the device detonated Thursday. Garcia said he wasn't sure if he was going to survive the explosion. He said he thanked his family and his faith for getting him through the ordeal.

"I felt like I was in a war zone when I felt that explosion, holding out and praying to our Lord Jesus Christ," Garcia said from his hospital bed at Palomar Medical Center.

Garcia, who works as a gardener, was doing some maintenance work at the time of the blast. He stepped on some gravel and suddenly there was a huge boom. He said that when he saw blood streaming from his face, he started praying. After getting to the hospital, Garcia underwent surgery. He said Friday he know very quickly he was badly injured.    

"I lifted up my arm, and I saw all of this right here -- the flesh moving -- and that's when I knew I got hurt in my arm," Garcia said.

Despite his injuries, he was in good spirits on Friday. He said it was the home's tenant -- a man who was later arrested -- who called 911 after the explosion. Despite what happened, Garcia doesn't blame anyone. He said he was just glad he survived.

"I don't think it was intentionally meant for me or for us," Garcia said. "Whatever he did or does, I just pray that God will have mercy on him for whatever he is doing."

Garcia is expected to make a full recovery.

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