The explosion flattened a house and displaced eight families from their homes in the Saddlebrook neighborhood.
Leazer had just arrived at his home at 153 Saddle Mountain Rd., near the explosion site at 168 Saddle Mountain Rd., seconds before the blast.
“If I had gotten home 12 seconds later I would have been driving by that house,” he said.
A pile of rubble is all that remains of the three-story house where the explosion originated.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine announced Tuesday that investigators have determined the blast was not an accident and said the explosion was the result of arson.
The surrounding houses still bear the marks of the blast, and many families have yet to begin construction to repair the damage.
Four months later, Leazer and his wife are just preparing to return to their home of 16 years, which was severely damaged in the blast.
“We look at it as if it’s a bump in the road,” said Leazer. “We’re just ready to get our neighborhood back.”
Several of the displaced families have been staying in condominiums since the incident, according to Leazer, but the sounds of construction and rebuilding now echo throughout the neighborhood.
“This is not easy,” said Toni Reid, a three-year resident of Saddlebrook. “We’re tired. We want to come home.”
The repairs required to the Reid’s home included a new roof and new rafters, new windows throughout the home, and the exterior of the house had to be re-bricked, according to Reid.
“Everything in the front of the house caved in,” she said.
One of the first families to begin reconstruction on their damaged home, the Reids hope to move back in by the end of the week, she said.
The neighborhood was stunned, said homeowner Dwight Patterson, whose house was also damaged.
Patterson was not at home when the blast occurred, however his dog, Sam, who was at the house during the explosion, is now scared of loud noises.
“If it thunders or lightnings now he is a nervous wreck,” said Patterson.
The biggest problem for homeowners in the community now is the fear that the situation could occur again, said Patterson.
“That’s what worries everybody, and the value of the houses,” he said. Patterson said he has not decided whether he will stay in the neighborhood.
He said Tuesday’s press conference granted him closure, but he is still attempting to settle with his insurance company.
“It makes us feel a little bit better. We just want this nightmare to be over,” he said.