What We Know So Far About the Lackawanna Explosion

Live Updates

One person is dead and seven homes damaged after a house exploded in a New York neighborhood Tuesday morning, according to authorities.

The explosion occurred in Lackawanna, a city just south of Buffalo, New York just before 8 a.m. (EDT). Nearby homes were evacuated following the explosion.

While authorities are still investigating the cause, Lackawanna Fire Captain Andrew Kaminski told USA Today that it's believed to have been a gas explosion. Kaminski said that fire, arson, police and utility crews were assessing the scene.

Lackawanna Fire Chief James Fino confirmed on Tuesday that one person died and other homes were damaged from the explosion, which occurred around 7:20 a.m. Authorities identified the 92-year old Irene Sanok, who they believe was alone in the house at the time of the explosion, according to a release from the Lackawanna public information office.

Authorities are not aware of any other injuries at this time, the release said.

Nearby neighbors told WIVB that they felt their house shake when the explosion occurred. Pictures posted on Twitter of the site of the Lackawanna explosion show the house was completely leveled, with only debris sitting in the place where it stood.

The blast also littered debris on and around surrounding houses.

A reserve firefighter who lived across the street from the now destroyed Lackawanna house said that he was looking out the window Tuesday morning when "everything went white."

Michael Salamone, who was interviewed by the Buffalo News, said that once the debris stopped falling and the smoke cleared enough, he could "see the house across the street was leveled.

"The extent of the damage I didn't know until I went outside," he said.

"We all love [Sanok], and I always checked on her every day," he added.

Kayleigh Migheles, one of Sanok's neighbors, told WGRZ that she looked out a window after the explosion woke her up and saw a mattress on another house's roof.

Migheles said that the sight was extremely "scary" to her and it was something she'd never seen before.

Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera, who represents the 149th New York State Assembly District, expressed his condolences for Lackawanna on Twitter Tuesday.

"Thoughts are with the Lackawanna community this morning," he tweeted.

The explosion initially left more than 580 National Grid customers in the city without power, including all of Bedford Ave, but power was restored to houses outside of the street by 9 a.m., WIVB reported. Authorities estimated power will be restored on Bedford Ave. by 6:45 p.m.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Police Tape
Police and fire crews have yet to determine the cause of a Tuesday morning explosion in Lackawanna, New York. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Neighbor Saw Mattress on Another House's Roof After Explosion

Kayleigh Migheles, a neighbor of the leveled Lackawanna home, told WGRZ that she looked out a window after the explosion woke her up and saw a mattress on another house's roof.

Migheles said that the sight was extremely "scary" to her.

"That was something I had never seen before," she told WGRZ.

Woman Killed in Explosion Identified as 92-Year Old Irene Sanok

The victim of the Lackawanna house explosion was identified as Irene Sanok, WGRZ reported.

Sanok was a 92-year old woman who appeared to be living alone in her Lackawanna home before it was leveled Tuesday morning.

Authorities have yet to confirm the cause of the explosion.

Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera Sends 'Thoughts' to Lackawanna Community

Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera, who represents the 149th New York State Assembly District, expressed his condolences for the Lackawanna community on Twitter Tuesday.

"Thoughts are with the Lackawanna community this morning," he tweeted.

Michael Salamone, one neighbor of the woman who was killed, said that the whole community loved her and he checked on her every day.

Thoughts are with the Lackawanna community this morning. Tragic scenes following a house explosion on Bedford Ave.

As of 8 a.m., more than 580 National Grid customers in Lackawanna were without power. It’s estimated to be restored by 6:45 p.m.https://t.co/abUbu8ai42

— Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera (@JonRivera149) July 20, 2021

Neighbor of Leveled Lackawanna House Witnessed Explosion: 'Everything Went White'

A reserve firefighter who lived across the street from the now destroyed Lackawanna house said that he was looking out the window Tuesday morning when "everything went white."

Michael Salamone, who was interviewed by the Buffalo News, said that once the debris stopped falling and the smoke cleared enough, he could "see the house across the street was leveled.

"The extent of the damage I didn't know until I went outside," he said.

Once outside, he put out a few spot fires and checked on some of the nearby homes to see if anyone was hurt. Salamone said that the now-deceased woman who lived in the destroyed house maintains a routine of going to the store around 9:30 a.m., and the explosion occurred around 7:30 a.m.

"And her car is still there," he told the News.

"We all love her, and I always checked on her every day," he added.

Gas Explosion May Have Destroyed Lackawanna Home

The Lackawanna home is believed to have been leveled by a gas explosion, though no cause has been officially confirmed, Lackawanna Fire Captain Andrew Kaminski told USA Today.

Kaminski said that nearby homes are still evacuated and that fire, arson, police and utility crews were assessing the scene.

Newsweek has contacted the Lackawanna Fire Department for additional information.

One Person Dead After Lackawanna House Explosion

At least one person is dead after the Lackawanna house explosion that occurred Tuesday morning, Lackawanna Fire Chief James Fino said.

Additionally, seven homes were damaged from the blast, which occurred around 7:20 a.m., Fino confirmed.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the blast.

Lackawanna House Completely Leveled After Explosion

Pictures posted on Twitter of the site of the Lackawanna explosion show the house was completely leveled, with only debris sitting in the place where it stood. The explosion also littered debris on and around surrounding houses.

Other pictures showed firefighters working to extinguish fires following the explosion at the leveled site.

Before/after photo of Lackawanna house explosion, crazy pic.twitter.com/VaAwAvCyDq

— mike macᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ (@mikemikemac) July 20, 2021