Explosion destroys Old Forge home, damages at least 10 others

Just after 2:30 p.m. a house on Hollywood Road near Hollywood Hills Beach suddenly exploded. Debris was found 300-400 feet out into the lake.

Posted: Jul 30, 2021 4:20 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2021 10:36 PM

OLD FORGE, NY – Firefighters from Old Forge, Otter Lake and Eagle Bay responded to an explosion along First Lake Friday afternoon.

Town of Webb Police Chief Ron Johnston says just after 2:30 p.m. a house on Hollywood Road near Hollywood Hills Beach suddenly exploded. Debris was found 300-400 feet out into the lake.

Photo courtesy John Stewart

"I've never seen a building explosion to this magnitude. The debris field that shot out into First Lake." Johnston said.

Neighbors reported feeling the ground shake and seeing black smoke rise from the area of the explosion.

"The most horrible sound that I've ever heard in my life." says neighbor Virginia Shults. "My husband and I were sitting in the living room, our son was working in the back room and all of a sudden there was a boom of a lifetime. We jumped up came to the window and we saw smoke billowing down there and we couldn't see because of all the smoke. Then it cleared and we saw debris and stuff everywhere, unbelievable."

One house was destroyed, several other homes and cars were damaged. Chief Johnston says some homes are not liveable at this time.

Hollywood Road is closed for a few days at least while crews work to clear the debris.

No one was home at the time of the incident. Just one person suffered minor injuries.

The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control is nvestigating. No word yet on a cause.

NewsChannel 2 will report any additional details as they come in.

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