Family of 4 displaced after early morning Buffalo fire

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo firefighters had their hands full this morning as they worked to battle two separate fires and put out flames in bitterly cold temperatures.

The most recent happened at a home on Clare Street. It was occupied at the time with a family of 4 including a 3-year-old and a 9-year-old, but they all managed to make it outside of the home safely.

“Main thing in her mind was grab the kids and leave. But she knew the front was lit up nothing in the back, so she had a little time to try to get out the back door,” said Terry Gilliam, grandfather.

Terry Gilliam says he’s thankful his daughter, her husband and two kids made it out quickly before their home went up in flames shortly before 5:30 this morning.

“She smelled smoke and you know she just had an instinct. She barely heard the alarm so she just woke up just in time,” said Gilliam.

The family just moved into the home two weeks ago. Once crews put out the blaze they went back inside to gather belongings left behind.

“Basically they just settled in so it was really tough you know, that you just settle in and this little tragedy happens. They’re going to stay with us until they can settle themselves. Whatever we can do, the family can do, we’re going to do it,” said Gilliam.

The Clare Street fire broke less than an hour after firefighters wrapped up on the scene of another fire at 43 Jones Street, just a few blocks away.

“Today’s temperatures really impacted our operations here everything is freezing up our hoses are freezing up, the men are freezing up,” said Mark Hillary, Buffalo Fire Battalion Chief.

No one was inside the Jones street home at the time of the fire but at least $100,000 of damage was done.

It took firefighters two hours to put out the 2-alarm fire there that began before 3 am.

“You’re taking a dangerous job and you’re adding more risk to it through the inclement weather,” said Hillary.

The cause of both fires are currently under investigation.

The Red Cross is working with the family who was displaced as a result of the fire today on Clare Street. 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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