This is a recent view of the former West Branch Road home of Ron and Betty Jo Volz in Allegany which exploded in November from unknown causes that are suspected by some residents to be linked to recent oil well drilling in the area.


Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on oil well drilling in the Allegany area. The second installment will be published next week in the Era.

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — During the Christmas holidays, one of Gail Hammond’s gifts from her daughter was a methane gas detector to hang in her home.

Hammond, who lives across from a home that exploded on West Branch Road in November, as well as other neighbors in the valley, are not only hanging up detectors to test air quality in their homes, but have also had their water wells tested for chemicals that may have leached into the aquifer from nearby oil well drilling by Dimes Energy of Canada and Dallas Morris Drilling of Bradford, Pa. Read more: