Niagara Falls man pulls mother out of home moments before it explodes


A Niagara Falls man dragged his mother to safety, just moments before there was an explosion in their Michigan Ave. home Wednesday afternoon.

Hours after the explosion, Joe Parwani had a bandage on his hand as he explained what happened.

“I was making her lunch in the kitchen,” Parwani said. “I heard her calling me. I’m like, ‘What do you want?’ She said, ‘Fire!'”

That caused him to run into his mother’s room, where he says he noticed a small piece of the bed burning.

“Being a lady, she has like 5,000 pillows and blankets and comforters. Everything when up,” Parwani recalled. “She just stood in the middle of the room shocked and frozen. I grabbed her. I was dragging her out of the room. By the time I got out to the side door to get out of the house, there was a huge explosion.”

Parwani thinks his mother’s oxygen tanks caused that explosion, which left a huge chunk of the home leveled. Niagara Falls Fire Department officials confirmed there were multiple oxygen tanks in the home. They’re investigating the official cause of the fire and subsequent explosion, but say it’s possible the oxygen tanks played a roll in the latter. 

Parwani said he has lived in the home for about 12 years, and his mother, who is in her 60s, moved in about five years ago so that he could take care of her. By Parwani’s own words, she is “slow to move”. But thanks to him, she got out just in time.

“I’m shocked,” Parwani added. “I’m an artist and I had a studio at the home. I just lost about 15 years worth of oil paintings that were due for a show this summer. Looks like we’re going to have to start from scratch.”

Fire officials said two families, including the Parwanis, lived in the home, and are now being offered help from the Red Cross.

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