No evidence of gas leak after 92-year-old woman dies in Lackawanna home explosion

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LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) — One person is dead as police continue to investigate a house explosion that occurred Tuesday morning on Bedford Avenue in Lackawanna.

The deceased was identified as 92-year-old Irene Sanok. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

No one else in the neighborhood was injured, and no other people were believed to have been inside the home.

When police and fire crews got to the scene, the home was completely destroyed and fire was burning from the foundation.

(The home, before and after)

People living nearby say they felt it the explosion when it happened around 7:20 a.m. “My house in Lackawanna felt like someone slammed into it,” one viewer, Gabrielle, said.

Another, Christie, said “My entire house shook and the power is out, in mine and the apartment downstairs.”

Even in other nearby communities, the effects of the explosion were felt. “My house shook in West Seneca,” Colleen says.

According to fire officials, a total of seven homes were damaged. Lackawanna Code Enforcement Officers are evaluating the extent of the damage.

It’s not yet clear what caused the explosion, but the investigation into it is expected to take several days. On Wednesday morning, National Fuel released a statement on the incident, saying “testing of the main line and service line on Bedford Avenue as well as soil and atmospheric evaluation have shown nothing unusual or any evidence of system malfunction or leaking natural gas.”

Here is the full statement:

“National Fuel crews were onsite at the house explosion, located at 91 Bedford Avenue in Lackawanna, throughout the day yesterday assisting with the investigation into this incident. Testing of the main line and service line on Bedford Avenue as well as soil and atmospheric evaluation have shown nothing unusual or any evidence of system malfunction or leaking natural gas.  This testing was done under the observation of the New York State Department of Public Service.  National Fuel is also cooperating with Lackawanna Fire and Police representatives and fire investigators from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. 

National Fuel would like to express its condolences to the relatives of Irene Sanok. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time of tremendous loss.”

National Fuel

The video below was shared by Tom Krakowski:

Tuesday morning, more than 580 National Grid customers in Lackawanna were without power. That included the entirety of Bedford Ave.

By 9 a.m., power was restored at the addresses outside Bedford Ave. Power is estimated to be restored for everyone else by 6:45 p.m.

Please check back here for updates and follow us on Twitter.

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