A Buffalo woman, on her way to work Wednesday morning, noticed white smoke coming out of a house on Shirley Avenue near Bailey Avenue. She thought it was too much smoke to be from a chimney and decided to stop and see what was going on.
Katy Stuck soon realized the house was on fire. She quickly called 911 and got out of her car. As neighbors came out of nearby homes, they told her people lived at the home.
"I mean I was just really worried that someone was in there," Stuck explained. "Normally you think that if there's a fire, somebody is going to be out on the street watching the house burn down."
She went up and pounded on the door until she heard someone answer from inside. The door was unlocked, so Stuck went in and brought the man who lived downstairs outside. A few minutes later, the second floor of the home was engulfed in flames.
"I would just like to encourage other people to stop and do what I did," Stuck said. "It doesn't take any kind of special training to knock on a door and make sure nobody is home. The fire department, they're the real heroes. They ran in and risked their lives on that second floor. But I didn't really do anything out of the ordinary."
Buffalo Fire Division Chief Peter Kertzie said on the scene nobody was found inside the home. He estimates the house suffered around $80,000 in damage to the structure and $40,000 in damage to the contents.
Chief Kertzie said the high wind made it more difficult and dangerous for firefighters, especially those on the roof and ladders.
As of Wednesday evening, Buffalo Police say 68-year-old Patricia Terry has been charged with arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief in connection with the fire.