BREAKING NEWS — House Explosion in Wilson, N.Y. [UPDATED 2 P.M.]
Police and emergency crews are on the scene of an early morning house explosion at 4972 Chestnut Road in Wilson, N.Y., just west of Beebe Road, that killed one and sent four to area hospitals. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
2 p.m. UPDATE: According to Channel 2 News, investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the explosion. Several agencies, including the A.T.F., are assisting the Niagara Sheriff’s Department in their investigation.
1 p.m. UPDATE: We now know a little more about those injured and killed in the explosion. According to Channel 4, husband and wife Jody and Judith Johnson are in stable condition, and daughter Katie Johnson is in critical condition. There is no update on son Miles Johnson, but all four family members are at ECMC.
The Buffalo News writes that Sarah Johnson, who was killed in the explosion, would have been a freshman at Wilson Central High School this September.
Channel 2 also reports that the Ransomville Free Methodist Church and First Baptist Church in Wilson are excepting donations for the family, and a Johnson Family Fund has been set up at the First Niagara Branch in Wilson.
10:40 a.m. UPDATE: “This is a tragedy for the family,” Niagara County Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti said during a press conference, which just concluded. “We’re going to do everything we can to figure out what happened here and help them in any way we can.”
The exploded home belonged to the Johnson family. The mother, father and two children, who were thrown from the home during the explosion, are now all at ECMC in serious condition, Filicetti said, adding that the father was conscious enough to briefly speak with a Sheriff deputy before leaving the scene.
Two other children were not home at the time of the explosion, and a fifth child, Sara (spelling not yet confirmed) was found deceased in the middle rear of the home. She was between 12 and 14 years old, Filicetti said. Emergency personnel also recovered a cat and a dog.
“Volunteer firemen and law enforcement did a tremendous job searching through a large debris field,” Filicetti said.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but the family did use propane.
10 a.m. UPDATE: After the house exploded at around 6 a.m. this morning, The Buffalo News reports that the neighbors who heard the explosion and rushed to help found the four injured family members in a ditch near the remains of the leveled home.
Channel 2 has live video from the scene, embedded below. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Department is expected to hold a press conference updating the situation shortly.
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9:15 a.m. UPDATE: The teenage girl who was earlier reported missing has been confirmed killed, according to The Buffalo News. Channel 2 and Channel 4 are reporting that the girl was 12 years old and had been trapped under the rubble.
Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies say that five people — mother, father and three children — were inside the home when it exploded, according to Channel 2. Three victims were taken to ECMC — two by Mercy Flight — and a fourth went to Mount St. Mary’s with unknown injuries. Two other residents were not home at the time.
Channel 4 reports that 100 emergency personnel responded to the explosion and that National Grid has cut power to the home, but police are unsure at this time about what caused the explosion.
Here is Channel 4’s most recent video from the scene:
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8:20 a.m. UPDATE: The Buffalo News is reporting that six people are injured and one person, a teenage girl, is missing. They also say that emergency lines have reported the house’s address as 4972 Chestnut Road.
Here is a Google Maps shot of the house prior to the explosion:
8:10 a.m. UPDATE: According to Channel 4 News, neighbors said that seven people lived in the home that exploded. Officials do not know how many people were in the home at the time of the explosion, and Sheriff’s deputies could not confirm if anyone was missing, but they are still looking for the home’s residents.
Here is Channel 4’s most recent video on the incident:
[VIDEO NO LONGER AVAILABLE]