Two people devastated after losing everything in overnight house fire

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Timothy Woodard stares at firefighters putting out flames at his apartment complex.

“It’s terrible, just terrible,” said Woodard who has lived in the complex for five years. “You just lose everything.”

Two people, including Woodard, were inside when it started just after 4:30am Friday at a twelve unit apartment complex on Genesee Street.

The East Side resident says he’s thankful to be alive after seeing the severity of the fire.

“I woke up to use the bathroom and I saw fire shooting out of the vents,” said Woodard. “I barely got out. I was getting out of my door and I snatched it so hard that my doorknob broke.”

“They discovered it early and got out so we’re grateful,” said Johnathan Eaton, Buffalo Fire’s Deputy Commissioner.

The commissioner says it was upgraded to a two-alarm fire after crews went inside and saw how fast the flames were spreading.

“We had a little difficulty with the fire,” said Eaton. “It required a lot more man power so we opened up the structure and went into the spaces and we were able to stop the fire.”

Eaton credits Woodard’s quick reaction, calling for help as soon as he saw flames, for being able to salvage the building. It does have significant damage, $150,000 damage. Woodard is hopeful he will be able to save some of his personal items that were in his apartment when the fire started.

“My brothers ashes [are] is in there,” said Woodard. “I have pictures of my mother [who] that passed away. They’re irreplaceable. The clothes and everything – I can get back but I’m hoping my brothers ashes didn’t burn up. That would be terrible.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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