WESTFIELD - A fire completely destroyed a house on the corner of Route 5 and McKinley Road in the Town of Westfield on Monday morning, May 20.
The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team determined the cause was an accidental gas explosion. They reported the home was supplied with non-odorized natural gas from an old private gas well on the property. A gas leak in the basement caused an explosion which led to the fire.
A witness on scene described the fire as very hot and heard multiple pops and bangs.
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
A house at 8131 McKinley Rd., Westfield is engulfed in flames after a gas explosion. The fire started shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday, May 20 and completely destroyed the home.
"It was a vacant house," Westfield Fire Chief Stephen Pacanowski said.
Route 5 was closed between Route 394 and Pratt Road at about 11:20 a.m., and reopened at 12:25 p.m., but later that afternoon, Pacanowski reported one lane was still closed.
Fire departments from Portland, Brocton, Ripley and Fredonia assisted Westfield Volunteer Fire Department at the scene. According to Pacanowski, no fire personnel were injured.