“She was 92 but you’d never know it,” family of woman who died in explosion speaks out


LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Clean-up was still underway after a house on Bedford Avenue in Lackawanna exploded Tuesday morning.

“There’s a recliner that came out of her house and landed on top of our roof,” said Mike Salamone, who lives across the street from 91 Bedford, the house that exploded. “I was looking out my window. I got my cup of coffee as I usually do. And the house was there, the car was there, and in a split second, it was gone. It’s tough to process.”

Salamone says he helped get the families in the neighboring houses to safety.

“They were huddled down in the bedrooms and the doors of the bedrooms were broken in such a way that they really couldn’t get out,” he said. “So, we had to pull the doors apart to get them out. And you could see they were afraid to come out.”

92-year-old Irene Sanok died after her house exploded shortly after 7 a.m.

“She was kind and giving and she was 92 but you’d never know it. She was just always going,” said Cheryl McCoy, Irene’s niece. “We just saw her a couple of weeks ago. It’s unbelievable, unbelievable. She was always so perfect with everything that’s why if something was wrong here I know she would have taken care of it. She was on the ball all the time.”

National Fuel issued a statement saying no gas leak was found. Fire and police officials still have no idea what caused the explosion.

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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