Husband Survives, Wife Killed After Ballantyne Home Explodes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It is hard to imagine how anyone lived through such a catastrophic blast in Ballantyne. But somehow, Dr. Jebran Karam did, and even managed to call 911 so rescuers could find him, trapped underneath massive piles of rubble in what used to be a back stairwell in their home.

Wednesday night, he was in the hospital recovering. We do not know the extent of his injuries. We do know he is a cardiologist who works at a hospital in Beckley, West Virginia. That hospital, Raleigh General, sent WCCB a statement saying, “We were deeply saddened to hear about this incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Karam family during this difficult time. Dr. Jebran Karam is a tremendous cardiologist, physician and advocate for his patients. We wish him a full and fast recovery.”

Audrey Kirk lives in West Virginia and tells us of Dr. Karam, “He’s a wonderful, caring cardiologist and saved my husband though 2 heart attacks. His bedside manner was amazing. He loved his family and his patients. My heart breaks for him and his family. We are praying for them all. He always went above and beyond to care for his patients.”

His wife, Rania, did not survive the blast. Investigators say her body was found about 50-60 feet away from his, the distance of several rooms. The woman who sold the house to the Karams in 2015, and kept in touch with them, tells WCCB that Rania made annual, generous donations to The Pink Bow Campaign every year, which raises money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She also says Rania was devoted to her kids, and “an incredibly proud mother.”

Funeral information for Rania Karam has not been determined or released. If there is a public service, we will let you know.