NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — While many were still asleep on the morning of December 25, 2020, those on 2nd Avenue were awaken by the sound of terror.
At 6:30 a.m. a bomb was detonated inside an RV parked on 2nd Avenue. Clouds of smoke instantly turned a day of celebration into one of darkness.
Police body cam footage captured people running for safety- among those was the Gainey family.
"The thing that sticks with me the most is the sound that, you know, woke us up," said Buddy Gainey. "It was just this crazy sound and then the whole building shaking and smoke filling the room and it was just so surreal like 'what is going on?'"
The family rented a condo to visit their daughter Cayman for Christmas.
"The condo was an interior condo. We were not on the street side with windows to the street and I was kind of upset," said Buddy. But he admits staying in a condo without windows may have been a blessing after all. "Well looking back on that if we had been on the street side we certainly would have been injured, I don't know how injured, but we would have been injured because there was a lot of debris and damage in that street-side condo that we could have been in."
Now, a year later, the Gainey's are celebrating Christmas with family in Florida, but memories of last year's explosion are still haunting.
"Right after the bombing you know you'd be somewhere and all of the sudden hear a loud noise and jump out of your skin or, you know, some dreams that were kind of unsettling or things like that," said Buddy.
"I haven't really tried to think about it, honestly," said Cayman. "I've had a lot of PTSD and trauma since the incident. So it's been a tough year for me".
Today much of 2nd Avenue has stayed frozen in time, but for survivors like the Gaineys each new day is a step closer to healing.
"We didn't know coming out of that situation what was going to happen, so us just being together as a family is a blessing for us for sure, that we're still here today," said Cayman.