LOCKPORT (WKBW) Flames ripped through a home on Elmwood Avenue in the City of Lockport early Thursday morning, leaving behind this two destroyed homes, with damage to a third. Residents of all three homes were able to make it out safely.
Mike Smith's parents lived at 73 Elmwood. Thursday morning he came back to survey the damage.
"Honestly I'm at a loss for words. Because just last year October I was living in that apartment with 4 children and my fiancee." he said.
This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City of Lockport, and with homes built so close, one fire quickly became three.
"If we had had a wind storm last night, possibly half of the block might be gone," neighbor William Winters said.
The weather also played a role in fighting the blaze. One firefighter was hospitalized after slipping on ice, and the cold made it more difficult on crews battling the fireball.
"We had one frozen hydrant on Erie Street and then we had to go all the way down, had to bring in 700 feet from the other way to feed the ladder because there's just not enough water in this area of town," Captain Thomas Lupo of the Lockport Fire Department said.
Damaging house fires like these can be devastating all by themselves, but neighbors and firefighters say on this Thanksgiving holiday it can be even tougher.
"It's a holiday. Nobody wants to see anybody's house burn, but when it burns on a holiday it makes it even worse," Lupo said.
But for Michael Smith, it helps put things in perspective.
"Because everyone was safe, it makes you realize what you're really thankful for. And that's life," he said.