NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — While many people were evacuated from their Second Avenue residences prior to the bomb exploding, the Gainey family was still asleep inside their Airbnb.
"Things were collapsing, the mirrors on the walls were crashing down, shattering. Honestly our first thought was -- an earthquake," said Cayman Gainey, one of the family members.
As smoke filled their rented condo, Buddy Gainey, Cayman's father, realized he had to get his wife and two daughters out immediately.
"When we came out to the street, there was a car across the street engulfed in flames. It was like a war zone. Something out of a movie," recalled Buddy Gainey.
Metro Police Officer Michael Sipos's body camera captures the family scrambling down Second Avenue towards their car after the explosion. You can see Buddy carrying his wife Michelle over his shoulder.
Officer Breanna Hosey: "Are you guys OK?"
Buddy Gainey: "Yea."
Hosey: "OK. Where’s your car?"
Gainey: "Right there."
Hosey: "OK, go to your car."
Gainey: "OK. What’s going on?"
Buddy Gainey is confident that they survived because of the bravery of Metro Police and the blessing of a room without windows. He admits -- when they checked in -- he wasn't happy.
"I started reading some of the fine print and it said it was an interior condo and had no windows to the exterior. I was kind of upset. So I called them, they were fully booked, they couldn’t accommodate us," said Buddy Gainey. "In hindsight, this was God’s protection on us because if had we been on the street side, where there were windows, the glass the debris, we could have been seriously injured or killed.
The family was in town to visit their daughter Cayman, who now calls Nashville home. She says she hasn't lived in the city long, but already knows first hand about the heroes that walk among us.
"I’m just feeling -- sorry -- just really overwhelmed with love and support right now," said Cayman Gainey. "We really, obviously, are so thankful for those police officers that put their lives at risk to help other citizens."
Buddy Gainey also gives credit to God for deciding to park his car down the street, instead of an open metered spot in front of the building. If he had left his car on the road, that would have likely been lost too.