Fiery explosion

WESTFIELD – A fire destroyed a house on Route 5 near McKinley Road on Monday morning. 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.

Westfield Fire Chief Stephen Pacanowski said, “It was a vacant house,”

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 at the scene. According to Pacanowski no fire personnel were injured.