Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — WILSON — A 6 a.m. explosion that could be heard miles away, leveled a house on Chestnut Road and claimed the life of a 14-year-old girl Tuesday. Four other members of the family were injured in the blast and hospitalized.
Sarah Johnson, a member of the Wilson Central School track team, was killed in the blast.
Parents Jody and Judith Johnson and their daughter Katie, 18, were transported to Erie County Medical Center where they are being treated. Nathan, 16, was first taken to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and then transferred to ECMC.
Katie’s condition is reported as critical, due to severe burns. The parents and Nathan are reported to be in stable condition.
Hannah,16, and Sam, 10, stayed at a family friend’s house the night before and were not home at the time of the explosion. Twins Hannah and Nathan are members of the Wilson tennis team. Katie, a 2012 graduate, was on the track team.
Jody is a retired Army officer and Judy is a nurse.
Debris from the house was scattered even beyond the yellow-security tapes where Homeland Security, Niagara County Sheriff's Department, Niagara County HazMatt and members of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Enhanced Conventional Weapons (CBRNE) team investigated.
Brenda Stunkel, a Beebe Road neighbor, heard it and felt it. Debris was flying in her back yard.
"It was very intense. I thought a bomb hit someplace. It was very intense," Stunkel said. "It's so god awful, I can't imagine what they're going through. It's just horrible. They are really nice people."
"It's a terrible tragedy for the Wilson community," said Wally Moxham whose children go to school with the Johnson children. "Wilson is small and everyone is touched by the tragedy ... It's a terrible loss."
A fund has been set up for the Johnson Family at the First Niagara Bank in Wilson. The Ransomville Free Methodist Church and First Baptist Church in Wilson are also accepting donations to help the Johnson family.