Firefighters recovering after response to wild scene

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo firefighters thought they were responding to a typical fire Friday afternoon.

But when they got to the scene, already finding two fires outside and more flames inside — they also found a woman with a knife.

The city’s fire commissioner updated the media Saturday on his crew’s brave rescue.

Buffalo fire officials say a woman started a fire in a garage Friday afternoon at 210 Glenwood Avenue between Purdy and Waverly streets.

Buffalo firefighters rushed to the scene and found two lawnmowers outside ablaze. Inside the home, they found additional fires and a woman flashing a knife.

“Sometimes it’s just a fire, sometimes it’s someone there with ill intent, or whatever,” said Buffalo Commissioner of Fire Garnell Whitfield, Jr.

The fire accelerated, and three firefighters were forced to save themselves.

“They were involved in a very hostile environment, fire, that took off on them,” Whitfield said. “They actually ended up having to dive through the windows, and received some cuts having done so.”

They then went back into the home to find the woman unresponsive and not breathing.

Despite having been threatened minutes before, firefighters maintained their duties.

“The men and women of the Buffalo Fire Department, having been confronted by her, aggressively brandishing a knife, bailed out and then went back in to rescue. They put their lives in danger to rescue her then resuscitate and I think that’s a testament to their willingness to serve.”

No charges had been filed as of Saturday evening, and the fire’s exact cause remained under investigation. 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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