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Friday, March 7, 2014

Fatal Fire: Buffalo N.Y., 2280 Genesee St. - 03.07.2014

BUFFALO, N.Y.  (The Buffalo News) — The owner of an East Side auto repair shop was killed this afternoon when an explosion ripped through his garage bay.

Firefighters and police were on the scene of the fire at Steve’s Auto Service, 2280 Genesee St., at East End Avenue.

A worker said the owner and he were working on a fuel pump of a car when the phone rang. The worker left the garage to answer the phone. He then heard the owner yell: “Fire!”

The garage then burst into flames. The worker apparently could not get back into the shop because of the ferocity of the fire.

Firefighters quickly arrived at the scene and managed to drag the owner, Stephen J. Pawlowski, 56, of the Town of Tonawanda out of the burning garage.

Witnesses said they put him in a snow bank to douse the flames. He was rushed to a hospital by ambulance.

A worker from the garage also was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says firefighters responded to Steve’s Auto Service at 2280 Genesee St. near East End just after 1 p.m. Friday. Upon arrival, Whitfield says they found heavy fire conditions and two victims outside the building.

"One of them in particular had severe burns to him. He was assisted by other pedestrians and civilians. He has since been pronounced deceased at ECMC hospital," Whitfield says.

Fire Commissioner Whitfield says the cause of the incident is under investigation. He says there are reports of several explosions at the scene, reports the fire master is working to verify.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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