My school didn't literally explode. It's still there, just a little private Christian school sorta out in the country. This particular story takes place when I was in the second grade, which means either 1994 or early 1995.
That was a tough year. In addition to the jarring introduction to such grown-up supplies as red pens and notebook paper, my teacher died (not even joking) and the school year went extra long because we had a lot of ice storms that year, which meant schools were closed either because of the roads or power outages (and I don't remember which one.)
One particularly cloudy, chilly winter day, during a fairly normal class time, my classmates and I found ourselves pressed up against the windows, looking at the smoke rising from down the road. I couldn't see it against the clouds. Next thing I know, we were being let out of school. It also snowed, and I remember watching little bits of snow landing on my coat as I walked with my dad out to the car.
Down the road from my school, there used to be a gas station, or all of one.
Part of it, for some reason, and I'm just guessing a gas fire here, literally exploded that day.
My dad told me that he had seen a mushroom cloud in the same direction of my school, and probably thought, for just a bit, that the school exploded.
But no, we were good and hey, half a snow day. The rest of the gas station stuck around for a few years, I think until I was in college. I used to pass it every day going to school, back when we lived just off Highway 301. It closed, and I think the building is still there.
Definitely something pretty unforgettable.
I did write today too. Not as much as I hoped, because yard work. Oh well.