BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two people, including one child, are dead following a fire in Buffalo's Kaisertown neighborhood.
"I've never seen anything like it. The entire building was englufed heading right towards us. I think we all feared for our lives," said Ashley Noelle Wierzbicki - who lives on the opposite side of the street from the fire.
Firefighters responded to 157 Weiss Street just after 1:30 a.m. Monday and quickly called for a second alarm. More than 50 firefighters responded to the scene and 15 pieces of equipment were used.
"It was heartbreaking. I don't know how the community is going to get over this," said Wierzbicki.
Fire officials said a 31-year-old mother and her daughter were killed in the fire. Their family tells us the girl was two years and seven months old, correcting initial reports from fire officials that incorrectly gave her age as seven months. A family member has identified the mother as Stephanie Schultz and the child as Stella Schultz.
The Facebook group, FBNY, posted videos of the fire blowing through the roof of the house around 2:00 a.m.
The fire started in the rear of the first floor and spread to the second floor. Firefighters initially began an interior attack of the fire but the stairs to the second floor completely burned out, which led to an evacuation and an exterior attack of the fire.
"The back stairs had burned out, we weren't able to get to the second floor, members of the rescue did a search of the front bedroom, unfortunately he got into the room and ran out of air he had to get bailed out," said Chief Graham.
Fire officials said the victims were found in an upstairs bedroom just inside a window where the exterior attack was mounted. The cause of death of both victims was determined to be smoke inhalation.
According to officials, no smoke detectors were present in the home.
Four firefighters were injured and taken to ECMC. One of the firefighters was injured in a fire earlier Monday but responded, the other three were injured fighting the Weiss Street fire. They have been treated an released.
Damage from the fire was estimated at $225,000.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A GoFundMe page has been created for the family of the victims.