(WBEN) Two children who apparently slept elsewhere the night that the Johnson family home exploded in Wilson last Tuesday, have said that they did so to avoid the strong smell of propane that pervaded the house, sources tell WBEN.
And their propane provider, NOCO Energy has released a statement saying two propane tanks were in place at the house, after the one they supervised was disconnected.
The blast, one week ago Tuesday, leveled the Johnson family's two-story house on Chestnut Road, killing a 14-year-old girl and injuring her parents and two siblings. On Friday, Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour announced that a build up of propane was the cause, but the source of the gas and what ignited it remain unknown.
Homeowners Jody and Judith Johnson, their 16-year-old son, Nathan, and 18-year-old daughter, Katie, were apparently thrown forward toward the road and survived. Sarah Johnson's body was found about four hours later in the charred debris at the rear of the home. Two other family members slept elsewhere that night,
Jody Johnson told investigators of a smell of propane at the home in the days before the blast. Sources close to the investigation tell WBEN that smell was why two other family members chose to sleep outside of the home with acquaintances that evening.
Both tanks were apparently on scene the day of the blast.
The force of the explosion reduced the large home to a pile of waist-high rubble that caught fire. It blew in a basement window and knocked pictures from the wall of the nearest neighboring home, about 100 yards away