WILSON, N.Y. (WIVB) - About a month and a half after a deadly house explosion, a teenager from Wilson is out of the hospital.
Katie Johnson suffered severe burns when a huge blast leveled her family's home in July. The explosion killed her younger sister, Sarah.
Katie, the oldest of the four Johnson siblings, had been in ECMC's Burn Unit while recovering from that tragic blast. But friends say she has been steadily getting better, and Monday, she was finally released from the hospital.
The 19-year-old sent out a tweet, "I'm going home today." True to her word, Katie walked out of ECMC on Monday and into the arms of a community that has embraced her and her family after July's tragedy.
Support continues to pour in from friends and strangers all over western New York. Items are being auctioned off this weekend to help the Johnsons, who lost their home and their possessions in the blast, including a motor scooter worth more than $2,000.
Sam Parise of Parise Mechanical said, "And they are collecting hundreds of baskets and other items. People are coming forward every day - every hour - with other donations that are going to be at this benefit. So it is going to be a huge opportunity for somebody to pick up some really nice stuff."
The benefit for the Johnsons is being held at Porter-on-the-Lake in Youngstown, an 11-hour family friendly affair that includes games, raffles, lots of food and 10 bands filling the air with music.
Parise said people are just stopping in his business and dropping off merchandise and gift baskets. They are also buying stickers honoring Sarah Johnson's memory.
"2,100 of these, and these are stickers you can put on your refrigerator, your car, or wherever, in memory of Sarah Johnson. We will be selling these for proceeds, also," Parise said.
Katie was released late Monday afternoon. That should also lift spirits for folks attending the fundraiser this Saturday. You can find all the details on the fundraiser here.
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