BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Fire crews responded to Moselle Street in Buffalo Thursday afternoon to battle a two-alarm fire that destroyed two homes and damaged a third.
This photo from Adam Cichocki shows flames shooting high into the air. The billowing smoke from this blaze that involved three homes could be seen from a far distance.
PHOTO GALLERY | Three homes damaged in two-alarm fire
Warren Gilliam, a neighbor, says he heard commotion and saw people flooding the street. He ran onto the porch of one of the homes, and alerted the family inside.
“We saw a big blaze starting to come up at this house,” Gilliam said. “Everybody started looking, and I said, ‘Is anybody in that house next door?’ And nobody knew for sure. So I went to banging on the door. I banged on the door; some kids came to the door. And I said, ‘Y’all got to get out, because there’s a fire in the back.'”
Fire officials say the flames sparked in a vacant house at 126 Moselle, around 2:30 p.m. But the blaze was so intense it caused significant damage to one neighboring home and destroyed another.
“When a fire gets that kind of a head start, which this one did, very difficult to protect the houses around it. So unfortunately we weren’t able to save all of the homes around it,” Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield said.
The Red Cross is assisting a total of five adults and six children who have been displaced.
Whitfield said, “The investigation is being led by our fire marshals, fire department personnel. They’re here, they’re going to interview persons and try to ascertain. Go inside if permissible, if it’s safe, try to ascertain the cause and origin of the fire.”
The vacant house and one of the occupied homes are total losses, Whitfield said, and will have to be torn down. Damage to the third home is estimated at $60,000 to the building and $10,000 to the contents.