Sloan garage fire spreads; two homes impacted

Firefighters battle flames on Halstead Avenue after a garage fire spread into two homes on March 21st. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

SLOAN – Several Town of Cheektowaga fire departments aided Sloan Active Hose Company at the scene of a structure fire on Halstead Avenue during the Noon hour Wednesday.

Thick black smoke billowed from the garage at 92 Halstead Avenue as firefighters arrived.  It was fully engulfed and the fire was spreading to two adjacent homes.

Firefighters battle flames on Halstead Avenue after a garage fire spread into two homes on March 21st. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

John Lodyga lives across the streets and tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that he ran over to the fire to see if anyone was inside the garage.

“When I was over there a garden hose was unraveled and pointing into the garage, so I don’t know if somebody attempted [to extinguish the fire] or not,” said Mr. Lodyga.

One of the residents of 92 Halstead Avenue is serving the military in Afghanistan according to Mr. Lodyga. When the servicemember is home, he runs KHM Plumbing and Remodeling out of the house and uses the garage as storage.  His work van was near the fire.

“The back of the van caught fire and there was a small explosion – it might have been just the tires,” added Mr. Lodyga.

The fire spread into the main house at 92, and a neighboring home within minutes.

Cheektowaga Police detectives from the Fire Investigation Unit begin their probe into a fire on Halstead Avenue on March 21st. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Cheektowaga Police detectives from the Fire Investigation Unit begin their probe into a fire on Halstead Avenue on March 21st. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

“By the time I noticed [the fire] there was black smoke coming from [the garage] already.  I ran down my stairs and over to the garage, calling out to see if anyone was inside while I was on the phone with 911. It just went fast from there. It engulfed that garage, and it spread to the houses fast,” said Mr. Lodyga.

The majority of town firefighters assisted Sloan at the scene.  To cover the depletion throughout town, Depew firefighters covered the south end of town, while Cleveland Hill crews covered the north end.

The Red Cross was called to help out three people displaced by the fire according to a Red Cross official.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Cheektowaga Police Fire Investigation Unit.  

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