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Remembering DC Theatricks' legacy over the last 42 years in Buffalo

Forty-two years of work has suddenly turned to ash, after a fire destroyed the costume shop on Wednesday.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Middle school sweethearts Dave and Lynn Dejac opened up a magic shop on Main Street in the 80s, but it didn't last long. 

"Customers would come in and ask about do you have Santa Claus costumes, do you have Easter bunny costumes. Whatever the holiday may be that was coming," said Jodie Mancuso, a former employee at DC Theatricks

"So they started to build and acquire things and it all started there."

They moved across the street and renamed the costume business DC Theatricks.

"We had 30-foot-metal latters. Millions and millions of costumes," Mancuso said. 

Forty-two years of work has suddenly turned to ash, after a fire destroyed the costume shop on Wednesday.

"It's not replaceable and the pieces are not replaceable. And this is a collection," said Maria Provenzano, a loyal DC Theatrics customer.

To make it even worse, a Buffalo firefighter, 37-year-old Jason Arno, was killed while trying to put it out. 

"(Dave and Lynn) are absolutely heartbroken about that," Mancuso said. 

The Dejacs are left trying to process it all now, including what's happened to their life's work, a once booming business. 

"DC Theatricks was home of the best quality rental costumes for Halloween. So before this whole internet thing took wave, and bagged costumes, almost everybody and their brother went to DC Theatricks for a costume rental," Mancuso said.

Once the internet did come around, the Dejacs bought the domain www.costume.com

Combine that with their love and reputation for costumes, and it's easy to see why their work has shined in school performances, theaters, operas and movies ever since.

"They live and breathe this business," Mancuso said. 

DC Theatricks costumes have been in just about every local production and event.

"In 1994, we restarted up the World's Largest Disco and we've been getting all our costumes from there ever since," said Dave Pietrowski, founder of the World's Largest Disco. 

They've also been in "SNL," "The Masked Singer," and even at a show at the Vatican. 

"I can't think of many businesses that have existed on Main Street downtown for 42 years that have evolved into the business that they have," Mancuso said. 

During tough times, it's the people around us we must lean on for support. 

"I just hope that they know that they were well appreciated and well loved and that we're all here for them whatever they need," Provenzano said. 

Now the entire theater community wants the Dejacs to know they are not alone. 

"It was absolutely a family and it still is. That will never change. I'm absolutely heartbroken for them," Mancuso said. "This wasn't just 42 years of business. It was their entire life."

The Dejacs friends have started a GoFundMe for them. If you'd like to donate, click here

According to Mancuso, the couple is devastated by Arno's death at their business and they're hoping to put together a benefit for his family. 

2 On Your Side will keep you updated on the details when they're made available.  

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