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Neighbor gives account of Alber explosion

By Michael Butler

Marilyn Durham described what she heard as a "huge boom." Durham was sitting at her desk on Saturday morning around 10:30 when she heard an explosion next to her home on Alber Drive in East Tallassee.

"I'm sitting here and this boom comes," she recalled. "I lift my shade and a huge fireball comes out of the window."

Durham's home is adjacent to the Daniel property in the former teacherage across from Tallassee City Hall.

"I look out and there's no window or frame. It's a great, huge double window. It's just a big hole," she continued. "I called 911 and went outside."

48-year-old George Edgar "Eddie" Daniel was conscious when Durham met him. "He had no hair. His skin was black. I thought it was soot. It was plain horrible," said Durham. "They kept me on the 911 call a little long. We were waiting on the ambulance and fire truck. Eddie wanted to take the car, then the ambulance arrived. It went nowhere. I think they knew they couldn't handle it."

Daniel was airlifted to the Burn Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Durham, who has been in communication with the family, stated that Daniel is in an induced coma. "He has second and third degree burns from his waist to the top of his head," she said.

Tallassee police chief Jimmy Rodgers said that the explosion is under investigation. "It was determined that he had been attempting to make some form of a explosive device," said Rodgers.

Durham spoke of Daniel's ingenuity. "He's extremely intelligent and clever," she said. "He can do almost anything with everything."

State and federal agents are aiding with the investigation.

"These are good friends," Durham added. "They kept my dogs for me. They've helped me clean my house."

Since the incident, a steady flow of traffic has remained on the usually quiet street.

"I've never seen so many rubberneckers. I go out and glare at the people that come and see it. There's nothing to see folks," Durham concluded.

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