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Good Samaritans help save two people and a dog from house fire in Cheektowaga

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 18:49:32-04

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A fire in Cheektowaga Monday night spread quickly and destroyed five structures.

But out of sheer coincidence, two good Samaritans were able to save two people and a dog from last night's fire.

"The dog went outside. I thought there was somebody in the back yard or he had to go to the bathroom," said Steven Wiltsie. "When I went out that's when I'd seen the whole side of the house on fire."

Wiltsie is talking about the moment he saw his apartment house on Long Street going up in flames Monday night.

Within moments, everything he owned was gone.

" [It] burned everything. I lost everything," he said.

Everything except his dog, who started barking when two good Samaritans - Barry McQuiller and Erica Johnson - honked their car horn and pounded on doors and windows to alert anyone inside.

The couple just happened to be driving away from the neighborhood when they saw the smoke, and quickly took action that may have saved the life of Wiltsie and his upstairs neighbor Alexis Linck-Entwistle.

"We see that the front of the house was on fire. So now, I go into survival mode so start knocking on the windows," said McQuiller.

McQuiller said he had actually been in a house fire before, and had to wake up his family to get them to safety.

This time, he and his girlfriend took action from the outside.

"Once they did get out that's when the explosions came. Everything. You heard all the pops," said Johnson

Link-Entwistle was too upset to speak with 7 Eyewitness News on camera, but said she lost just about everything in last night's fire, including her cat.

Neighbors stood next to her and offered her food and coffee.

Both she and Wiltsie are devastated but grateful for the two heroes who alerted them to the fire, and came back to check on them Tuesday morning.

"I'm just glad that she's good. She's smiling she's good she's breathing," said McQuiller.

"As long as she's good we're good," said Johnson.

Witlsie said he spent the night with a neighbor across the street. He and Linck-Entwistle said they'll be staying with the Red Cross for a few days.

Cheecktowaga police said the fire is still under investigation.