BUFFALO, Minnesota — A Minnesota man didn’t have to think twice when a fire broke out in the duplex down the street.
“We heard a huge explosion like something broke,” said Matt Stewart.
Stewart and his fiancee, Reanna Schlosser, were on their porch in Buffalo on Wednesday when they heard that shocking thump. That, plus the smell of a bonfire, sent Stewart into action from two doors down.
“Black, billowing smoke came out,” he said. “[I] pulled a fire extinguisher from our garage, told Reanna to call 911, and it was time to get to work.
Banging on the door, Stewart said the three people inside, including an elderly couple, were unaware of what was happening on the floor above them.
Stewart helped them, but no one was sure the upstairs neighbor was home.
“I ran in one last time, because I said to myself, if there’s anyone there, I feel like I need to do my due diligence,” said Stewart.
Schlosser says she yelled at him to stop going back inside.
“But I knew he wasn’t worried about himself,” she said. “He was worried about the people inside.”
Fortunately, the house was empty at the time. And after a few minutes in, Stewart knew he had to get out.
“I definitely felt the heat when I stood on those stairs,” he said. ‘I couldn’t see anything. It was black.’
Buffalo Fire Chief John Harnois told WCCO the fire started in a kitchen and the upstairs is now unlivable. He says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“God put me in that position yesterday for a reason,” Stewart said. “It was for some way, shape or form that I will never understand. To help someone.’
Stewart was treated for smoke inhalation. The people he saved were not hurt.