BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Easter Sunday started with a bang for Thomas Schmidt, literally.
“Three loud pops happened very, very close. And then I heard this rumbling sound and I opened my eyes and the whole room was glowing orange,” he told News 4.
His garage on Niagara Street just north of Hertel Avenue caught fire around 1:30 Easter morning. His house is right next door, and he rents his upstairs to a family.
“I just ran upstairs to get the tenants out as soon as possible,” he said.
Luckily, the fire didn’t spread to Schmidt’s home, and no one was injured. But the garage is a total loss.
“We got outside and within two minutes the whole garage was engulfed,” Schmidt recalled.
Worse yet, he and his neighbor, Vicky Recore, had their cars inside of that garage.
Schmidt has full coverage insurance on his car, but Recore only had liability. The car she’s been driving for 13 years is now destroyed.
“Just coming through and seeing that the car looked the way it did, it was like ‘Oh My God,’ you know. It’s just a big shock,” Recore said.
Despite losing her car, Recore was determined to say in the Easter spirit.
“I still got up in the morning and went to church. You know, I just felt I like I better keep doing. You can just sit around and mop about it you know,” she told News 4.
Fire investigators are still working to determine a cause.
Schmidt told News 4 he’s overwhelmed by the whole tragedy, but grateful it was only property that was damaged.