Garage Explosion Leaves Family Homeless

January 18, 2012 Updated Jan 18, 2012 at 7:50 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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January 18, 2012 Updated Jan 18, 2012 at 7:50 PM EDT


(Clarence, NY) A mother and son are lucky to be alive after a fast moving blaze destroyed their home in the Town of Clarence.

Just before 9am, authorities received reports of an explosion on Hunting Valley Road.

When New York State Troopers responded with the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company, they found two people, who had escaped the inferno, standing outside the structure.

Shannin Schwenk, and her 19-year old son, Brandon Lee French, were not injured.

Brandon was able to rescue the family pets, but a cat later died due to injuries suffered from smoke inhalation.

Several neighbors reported hearing explosions coming from the garage area, and residents several streets away reported seeing massive flames.

Officials say the fire spread from the garage into the main living area, causing extensive damage.

American Red Cross officials were called to provide assistance to the family.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.