"We're happy to be alive, because if we had been asleep, there would have been no way we had got out."
SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- "You're sitting there and you're watching everything that you have go up in flames and there's nothing you can do about it," said Owen Boards.
He had already had an awful day. His sister passed away from a heart attack Friday morning.
Shortly after he got home from Glasgow because of that, he and his fiancé, Kimberly, heard something in the kitchen. Boards went to check it out and saw cabinets opening and closing, but didn't know what was happening.
"So the neighbors knocked on our door and said, 'You need to get out now.' So we got out with just the clothes that we had on, and in a matter of minutes that whole thing was up in flames and everything was gone," he said.
The Scottsville-Allen County Fire Chief said the old, vacant store by Boards' duplex -- at the intersection of North 4th and Cherry Street -- caught on fire.
"The adjacent house, which was about five feet from it -- it was also in the attic on it upstairs," said Chief Michael Cooksey.
He said the fire was fully involved when firefighters got there.
"Shortly after we arrived, that's when the explosion happened. That's when the walls came out," Cooksey said.
Boards was going through his home Saturday afternoon and discovered some belongings actually had survived.
"My father gave my mother a cedar chest and I re-did it when I was in high school, and it's the only thing that doesn't have a burn mark or scar or anything on it," he said.
Despite all he's going through, Boards is staying positive.
"No matter how bad it is for us, there's always people worse off than you, so you just have to look at the bright side of things," he said. "We're happy to be alive, because if we had been asleep, there would have been no way we had got out."
Boards said they're staying in a motel and family and friends are helping them out until they find a permanent place to live again.
The fire chief said the cause of the fire and explosion is unknown -- there was no electricity or anything in the building.
He did say police have had to run off people who were trying to stay in the empty building so someone like that possibly started it.
The investigation will continue.