WILSON, N.Y. (WIVB) - Investigators are in Wilson Wednesday, trying to piece together what could have caused a fatal explosion. Some familiar faces were on the scene, as family, friends and community members helped pick up possessions from the scene.
About 45 people worked together to overturn blocks of wood and debris, trying to find pictures, sports memorabilia, anything that can help the family heal.
Family friend Michele Mittelsteadt said, "I'm hoping to give the family some piece of their life back."
The Johnson family did not only lose their home, but their 14-year-old daughter Sarah.
Two of Sarah's siblings are safe because they were not home when the explosion took place. Sarah's other two siblings, Katie and Nathan, as well as their parents Judy and Jody, are at ECMC recovering.
While they are healing, volunteers say they have found some of Jody's war honors.
Sam Parise said, "We're coming across his plaques, and his medals and everything, that he had gotten through the service. Being able to pull that stuff out for him, save it for him, is going to mean a lot too."
|>> Full Coverage: See photos of the explosion, the victims, and the vigil. Listen to audio of crews learning of the devastation. Read stories about the community coming together for the Johnson family.|
Katie's best friend Kaitlyn stopped by while the crews were cleaning, and they handed her a soccer wrist band that Katie gave to her.
Kaitlyn said, "They found it, out of everything and they brought it up to me. I'm on my way to the hospital, so I'm going to bring it up to her room. So she can see it when she wakes up."
A church organizer, who is helping to coordinate donations for the Johnson family, says Judy Johnson is improving and did not have seizures, that were reported by other friends of the family. Stephen Hay of the Wilson First Baptist Church tells Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg, Judy Johnson is stable and talking, and may possibly be released from ECMC as early as Wednesday.
Her daughter Katie is still listed in critical condition, in the burn unit. Jody Johnson and Nathan Johnson are both in fair condition.
Police say they had the wrong man, and that Jerome Thagard, who spent four years in prison, didn't murder Steven Northrup in 2009. But the victim's family says otherwise.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
It was so treacherous in North Collins, the mayor had to issue a travel ban, and village snow plows were pulled off the roadways to keep drivers from trying to plow in zero visibility.
The Buffalo School Board unanimously approved plans to transform Burgard High School into a Manufacturing Magnet School on Wednesday,
Investigators are making progress in the case of a Chihuahua thrown in a ditch while zipped up in a Coors Light thermal bag.