Wind-whipped fire presents problems for firefighters

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The gusty winds forced Buffalo firefighters to sound a second alarm during an early morning house fire in the University Heights neighborhood. They feared the fire on Winspear Avenue would spread to adjacent homes.

Investigators don’t know the cause yet, but they tell News 4 the fire started in the back of the home around 1 a.m.

Neighbors showed News 4 video of flames shooting high into the dark sky. Ivory Bankston explained, “First we saw smoke coming out of the attic and then it just burst into flames.”

Firefighters say neighbors told them the house was empty. “This house had cars in the driveway, power to the house, even though the neighbors said it was vacant, it still looked occupied,” Division Chief Peter Kertzie said.

The division chief said firefighters had to search the home, and they also needed to make sure flames didn’t jump to neighbors’ homes.

No one was hurt in the fire. The chief says one crew member fell through a floor board, but he’s fine.

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