BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo Fire crews battled flames at a home at 262 High Street Monday morning. The fire started around 5:30 a.m. in the house that is used for boarding rooms, where around a dozen people lived.
“I heard something like an alarm clock go off. I figured that’s what it was. Then I heard someone yell, ‘Fire! Fire! Get out of the building!'” recalled one resident, Vincent Purpura. “When I opened up my door, there was smoke all over the place. I ran out the door and then all of the sudden, I saw flames shooting out.”
When firefighters arrived, they found flames coming out the front windows of the home, out the side of the building, and over the peak of the roof. “Very bad conditions here. Rapidly deteriorating,” said Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield. “Lots of fire. It looked like the structure may be compromised.”
The decision was made to pull firefighters out for a defensive attack, but then firefighters got word that a man was still trapped inside. “Rescue One went in the back of the building without a charged hose line, were able to find the victim and bring him out,” Whitfield said. The victim was unresponsive when he was pulled from the building, but fire personnel and paramedics with Rural/Metro were able to resuscitate him at the scene. He was taken to Buffalo General. News 4 is still waiting for word on the man’s condition now.
One firefighter also was taken to the hospital after having a medical emergency while fighting the fire. Whitfield said “one member of rescue one did go down with what looks like a seizure.” The News 4 crew on the scene Monday morning saw the firefighter walk out of the house with support from other firefighters. He was awake and alert as he was taken to the ambulance to be transported to Buffalo General.
Crews estimate the damage to the building is $75,000. One person we spoke to said he only moved in about a month ago, and he lost everything in the flames.
The Red Cross says it is helping ten people after that fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.