Firefighters, civilians sent to hospital after Buffalo arson

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Several Buffalo firefighters and at least one civilian are heading to the hospital after an incident at the scene of an apparent arson Friday afternoon.

Friday afternoon, Buffalo fire officials say a woman allegedly started a fire in a garage at 210 Glenwood Avenue between Purdy and Waverly Streets. Buffalo firefighters rushed to the scene, but an incident at that scene sent several people to the hospital.

Soon after, Buffalo Police cruisers also rushed to the scene and set up crime tape, blocking off the area. Fire officials say three firefighters were rushed to the hospital after the fire, but they wouldn’t which firefighters were attacked. Officials did say the firefighters are doing okay, and one has been released from the hospital.

Fire officials on the scene say there is about $75,000 in damage to a home and the garage. They believe the girlfriend of the man who owns the house set multiple fires at 1 p.m., but firefighters had it under control just after 1:30 p.m.

That woman, who was identified as 52-year-old Sandra Pierce, was rushed to the Erie County Medical Center with serious injuries related to the fire. Officials say she has a history of assaulting or attempting to harm the 61-year-old man who lives in the house.

The Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says she attacked the Fire Investigator and from there it just got worse.

“She was combative, she was adversarial, she did break windows — which caused the fires inside to really take off and make the inside very unattainable — they basically ended up diving out of the windows they were burned and also had some cuts,” he said.

The man who lives in the house was also taken to the hospital with a cut wound to his neck. Charges have not yet been filed and an investigation is underway.

Marvin Blakely, the brother of the homeowner, said Pierce stabbed him at the home 6 months ago. He said Pierce was set to be sentenced for that assault in May, and was out on bail.

“This is an absolute shame. Now my brother’s home is ruined. He has to start over at 62 years old, and I don’t know if she is dead or alive — she looked like she is deceased — but it is just really sad,” he said. “The tragedy that is causing her family as well.”

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