Community helps Johnson family
On July 24, the Johnson family’s life was changed forever when their Chestnut Road home exploded at 6 a.m., killing 14-year-old Sarah Johnson.
Katie Johnson, 19, remains at Erie County Medical Center burn unit as of Thursday. Parents Judy and John and son Nathan, 16 were also in the explosion but have been released from the hospital and Hannah, 16, and Sam, 10, were not at home during the explosion.
During the July 27, Theory of a Deadman concert, which was part of the Labatt Canal Concert Series, a second guitar was raffled off with the band’s signatures. All proceeds from the raffle were given to the Johnson family.
A moment of silence was given at Tuesday’s Niagara County Legislature meeting, where Legislator David Godfrey, who was a first responder on the scene, spoke about the tragedy. He said they believed the incident resulted from a propane tank leak that filled their basement.
“Our thoughts will be with the family,” said Godfrey. “Their entire home, their belongings, every keepsake were totally destroyed.”
He said a homeowner in Wilson donated a vacant house to the family to use during this time of need. Other community members have also been making donations and helping get the family furniture and other items they need.
A memorial service will be held for Sarah at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Wilson Soccer Fields, next to Thomas Marks Elementary School.
First responders are also gathering together to hold a fund-raiser for the Johnson family. From 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5, the Wrights Corners Fire Company, Miller Hose Fire Company of Newfane and the Olcott Fire Company will host a Corn Roast at Murphy Orchards. The proceeds of the event will be donated to the family.
The first responders on the scene said that even more than the rest of the community, they are “stunned” by the extent of the disaster and wish to help in some way.
The event will feature an outdoor concert at 1:30 p.m. by the Barker Community Band. There will also be corn to eat steamed or roasted and fresh corn to purchase. Firefighters will be on scene with a fire engine to explain what they do and give rides in the truck. There will also be wagon rides to the cornfield and a petting zoo.
Murphy Orchards is located at 2402 McClew Road in Burt. There is no admission charge.
For details contact Carol Murphy at 778-7926 or email@example.com.