Neighbors and police chief recount scary explosion in Town of Webb that leveled one home

Local News

WEBB, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)— An explosion believed to be caused by propane erupted on Friday afternoon in the Town of Webb destroying and leveling one home and causing damage to several others. 

Town of Webb Police Chief Ron Johnston said over 100 calls came into the 911 center around 2:40pm after a loud boom was heard up to three miles away from the 500 block of Hollywood Road. 

“I was almost two miles away when this happened and I heard the explosion and wondered what it was and then moments later we started receiving the 911 calls,” Johnston said. 

The home that exploded is owned by a Utica woman who wasn’t at the residence during the time of the incident. Two nearby landscapers sustained minor injuries from the shrapnel. 

Chief Johnston said when first responders arrived at the scene along First Lake in the Old Forge region, debris from the home had launched over 100 feet into the water. He said approximately 17 homes were impacted and at least four or five of those homes are unlivable. 

Town Supervisor David Berkstresser declared a state of emergency Saturday to allow for state, local and county officials to aid in the cleanup effort. 

The home right next door to the explosion also sustained major damage and the owner told NewsChannel 9 that she was home when it happened and was thrown off her back porch from the force. 

A neighbor across the street was also on their porch at the time of the explosion and recounts the scary moment. 

“We were on our porch and reading and all of a sudden it was just this major explosion and we looked up after getting our senses and saw a cloud rising from the area down below where the camp was,” Sal Rosato said. 

Chief Johnston expects the cleanup effort to take weeks but feels thankful no one was seriously injured. 

The New York State Fire department is investigating the incident and the case is active and ongoing. The Department of Environmental Conservation was also on the scene.

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