Cobb County

'God did it': Mother says higher power saved son, husband from house explosion

AUSTELL, Ga. — A mother says God saved her son’s life after her 6-year-old and her husband survived a house explosion that left them with severe burns.

It happened nearly two weeks ago along Hasty Lane in Austell. Yellow tape is still up around the rubble that was once a home.

Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose met with the family Thursday at the property. It was the first time 6-year-old Joshua Mark had been back since the home exploded.

“A house you can rebuild, but a life, you cannot rebuild a life," mother Charla Mark said.

Mark told Jose that she was at work when the house blew up. She got a phone call and rushed to the scene and then to the hospital.

“I was crying, I was weeping, I fell on the floor. But I thank God they’re alive,” Mark said.


She said Joshua and her husband, John Mark, were sleeping upstairs when the house blew up around them.

They fell from an upstairs bedroom down to the first floor and into the flames.

"(John) came out, he went back to get Joshua. That’s why he got more burned,” Charla Mark said. “I was so terrified when I saw them, but I give God glory today that they’re alive.”

John Mark remains in the hospital with severe burns.

The Cobb County Fire Department told Jose the investigation into the cause of the blast is on hold until it can meet with the family’s insurance company.

Charla Mark told Jose that her husband handled all the paperwork and the fire burned it. They don’t know the name of the insurance company.

“They’re not able to start life again because they lost everything,” Blessing Azonwu, the boy’s aunt, said.

She traveled from Los Angeles to help with Joshua’s recovery. The fire burned his face, body and arms but not his spirit.

“We almost lost him in the hospital. But by God’s grace, he’s here with us,” Charla Mark said. “We believe in miracles, and God did it.”

Joshua has several more doctor appointments scheduled for his injuries.

There is no word yet on how soon his dad will be released from the hospital.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.