WILSON, N.Y. (WIVB) - In the blink of an eye, a deadly blast tore apart a happy home. The home on Chestnut Road in Wilson belonged to Jody and Judith Johnson, and their five children.
Tragically, the blast killed 14-year-old Sarah Johnson, and badly injured her parents, and two of her siblings.
Neighbor Matthew Henderson said, "The force of the percussion, of the shock wave, that had come across hit the propane tank and caused it to ring like a bell, outside of our house."
The blast could be felt for miles, as the Johnson family's home in Wilson was leveled Tuesday morning. Parents Jody and Judy Johnson and two of their five children, 19-year-old Katie, and 16-year-old Nathan, were taken to the hospital. Their sister, 14-year-old Sarah, died in the blast.
|>> 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.|
Niagara County Undersheriff Michael Filicetti said, "It appears that they were, by the force of the explosion, thrown from the residence."
As investigators return to the scene, the fact that propane was used to heat the home will be a something they will be looking into.
Filicetti said, "We were informed that there was a propane smell in the residence yesterday. So that's something definitely they're going to look at."
As neighbors come by to look at what remains of the house, Wilson resident Bob Lynch said "We all got problems, but when you see something like this, it makes it your problems feel about that big."
There's no way we can understand the shock and all-consuming grief the Johnson family must be feeling, but their community is sending a strong message, "We're here for you."
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