"I opened the door and… it stinked," he says.
"Joey woke me up and said that there was a hissing sound coming from the laundry room, and so I went out to the hallway and right away I could smell a very strong gas smell," Tammie Jenkins said.
She and all seven kids piled into the Suburban.
Before backing out of the driveway she called her husband, Ralph.
"And then the next thing I know I hear commotion and a lot of screaming," Ralph said.
"I put the gear shift into reverse and just then the house exploded, the car port collapsed to the ground," Tammie said.
"We were in car, then it exploded, like BOOM," said 7-year-old Ben.
The family escaped with just seconds to spare.
The passenger window in the suburban shattered and their home was torn apart by the explosion.
"It was kind of scary," Joey said.
"First thing that came through my head, where are we going to live, what's going to happen to us. But the more I began to realize what happened, I knew that we had all we needed because we had our family, we were together, and that's all that matters," said 13-year-old Olivia.
The family credits Joey for his quick thinking, but there are other heroes here too.
"My wife was fantastic getting the kids out of the house, the kids were great, oldest kids helping the little kids get stuff on and get out of the house and nobody wasted any time, and I just really feel like we were protected that night," Ralph Jenkins said.
"It was divine protection, because this ran so much more smoother than our normal daily activities," Tammie said.
The family now begins to pick through the pieces for the first time.
"I had a collection of books I really loved, and I can see it in my mom's room now," Olivia said.
Toys have been turned to ashes, but there is a lesson written in this rubble.
"Our stuff may be burned but that fire cannot destroy our family," said John, 17.
"Material things don't matter as much as being together does," said 16-year-old Jordan.
"You know this can be replaced and you know it's just things. It's inconvenient but it can be replaced. I couldn't replace my family," Ralph said.
The Jenkins are staying with family members.
Friends set up an account for the Jenkins at Alaska USA Federal Credit union
They would like to thank their friends, neighbors and the fire department for all of their help.
According to the fire investigator the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but the family says it was a gas leak.
Contact Jackie Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org