A fire last Wednesday at the home of DC Theatricks on Main Street in Buffalo claimed the life of firefighter Jason Arno. He leaves behind a wife and a 3-year-old daughter.
His loss is impacting not only those who knew him, but to all of Western New York.
It's the latest in what's been a series of tragic events the Buffalo community has been hit with over the last year. This includes the shooting last May at a Tops grocery store that left 10 dead and three others injured and two crippling and deadly snow storms in November and December.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown spoke to our Mercedes Williams and Casey Bortnick to reflect on how the community has worked to get through these tragic moments.
“These events have been, in many ways, devastating,” Brown said. “We are a strong community. We are a resilient community. We pull together. And we have been able to pull through these very difficult and challenging times. And the resilience of this community, the strength of this community, and the unity of this community, has been seen nationally and internationally.”
Brown revealed that the initial damage estimate to the DC Theatricks building is $2.6 million. The mayor says that number could rise.
“[The ATF] have sent in their national response team to work with the Buffalo Fire Department, our arson investigators, the Buffalo Police Department. State fire is also assisting,” Brown said. “And a unit from the New York City Fire Department is here as well doing stabilizing work in the building to make it safer for all of these first responders, these investigators, to be able to safely do the work that they’re doing inside the building.”
Walter Shaw, Branch Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said on Saturday that his team hopes to have answers as to what caused the fire by the end of next week, although he believes it’s still too early in the investigation for speculation.