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Passerby credited with alerting homeowner to fire in City of Tonawanda

A teen is credited with helping to save a man from a burning house in the City of Tonawanda Wednesday night.

Cassandra L. Butzer, 18, was driving by a home on Elmwood Park North at about 10:10 p.m. when she noticed flames coming from the house, the City of Tonawanda Fire Department said.

Butzer pounded on the door and alerted the homeowner, Dennis Alviti, who was home alone at the time, the fire department said.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze mainly to an exterior porch, though the house sustained significant smoke damage.

"Had it not been for Cassandra's alertness and willingness to stop and help, that fire could have traveled much farther and had much more severe consequences," City of Tonawanda Fire Chief Charles B. Stuart said in a news release.

The fire may have been caused by a bird's nest sitting on top of a porch light. Damage to the home was estimated at $20,000.

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