Man dies in massive apartment fire

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB)- The Town of Amherst Police Department is confirming that the body has been located at the scene of a fire at 285 Scamridge Curve in the Town of Amherst. The fire broke out shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Police say 51-year-old Joseph McClusker died in the fire. Police say McClusker has family in the Bronx and Geneva.

Snyder Fire Chief Paul Greibner believes the fire started in the second-floor apartment of McClusker. Dozens of firefighters spent five hours putting out the flames. Amherst Police were able to evacuate most of the residents of the building. Upon arrival the Snyder Fire Department utilized ladders to rescue two occupants and a pet from an upper apartment.

A second alarm was sounded to bring additional firefighters and equipment to the scene. Greibner says the cold and snow were the biggest hurdles in putting out the fire.

Greibner said, “It’s always tragic clearly to lose somebody, you don’t want to have that ever happen but everybody did their best to ensure that everybody else was safe and went home to their families.”

The eight-unit building suffered extensive fire and water damage with a partial collapse of the roof structure. Damages total $1.15 million.

The cause of the fire and the whereabouts of the occupant where the fire started are being investigated by the Amherst Police Department and the Amherst Fire Inspectors office. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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