7 year old dies in Fillmore Ave. fire

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Buffalo Fire officials confirm to News 4 that a 7 year-old child has died in an early morning fire on Fillmore Ave.

Just before 7 a.m. Sunday firefighters arrived on the scene of a fully involved house fire in the 1400 block of Fillmore Ave.  Three adult residents and 3 children had already escaped the fire but told firefighters that a fourth child was still inside.

“I was woken up from some popping noise which was from the electrical line which had burnt up from the flames coming out of the house,” said next door neighbor Billy Bridges.  “I hear the kids in the house screaming and hollering. The parents are outside trying to direct the firefighters to what room that the kid was in and it just went down from there.”

Firefighters entered the burning building in an attempt to rescue the child but the building was already engulfed in flames. With the structure in danger of collapsing, Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says firefighters had to pull back and fight the fire defensively. “The building was already heavily involved. They went in at great peril to themselves to try to rescue the child,” said Commissioner Whitfield.

Soon after, the attic of the building collapsed into the second floor. The child’s body was recovered from the house after the fire was brought under control. “They weren’t able to get everybody out, but they put themselves in harms way to try and do that and we’re concerned about them and certainly concerned about the family,” said Whitfield.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries in the process. The 6 surviving family members have been taken to Women and Children’s Hospital for evaluation. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage is estimated at $140,000.

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