ALLEGANY, N.Y. — In the aftermath of an explosion on Monday that destroyed the Allegany home of Betty Jo and Ronald Volz, neighbors, relatives and friends have pitched in to help gather up items and memorabilia strewn about their property.

Meanwhile, Gordon Scott, spokesperson for the Allegany Fire Department, had no updates to report Tuesday on what fire investigation teams believe caused the explosion at the 3699 W. Branch Road property at 9:43 a.m. Monday.

The incident is currently being investigated by the Allegany Fire Investigation Team and the Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team.

The couple and their son, who had resided in the house, were not home at the time of the blast. To the amazement of all involved, the couple’s small Boston terrier dog that had been in the house, survived the explosion and was found in good health by emergency crews afterward.

A neighbor and friend of Betty Jo and Ronald Volz, Peggy Reitz, spoke on their behalf as they couldn’t be reached for comments.

“There was a lot of (items) that blew out of the house, so I know they’ve been picking up a lot of that,” Reitz said, noting the Volzes were at their property most of Monday as well as Tuesday.

Reitz said neighbors on the road want to help the couple anyway they can.

“I know everybody on the road wants to help them, but we’re just trying to figure out what they really do need,” she continued.“There’s a lot of people down there helping right now.”

Reitz said she believes the couple is staying with a relative.

Betty Jo Volz had mentioned on Monday that their son had been in the process of moving out of their home in the days leading up to the explosion.

On a related note, the couple had stated the house had been heated by electric baseboard water heat, while the gas stove in the home was heated by fuel supplied by a small propane tank at the back of the house.

As there has been recent oil well drilling of numerous wells on Four Mile Road and West Branch Road above the Volz property, a spokesperson with Dimes Energy, parent company of the operation, commented Monday on the incident. The spokesperson, Matt LeBlanc, had stated the company will await word on the cause of the explosion, but didn’t believe the incident was linked to the company’s drilling.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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