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Posted February 25, 2013 EST

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Buffalo Firefighters Battle 2 House Fires In Unusual String Of Blazes
United States (New York) - Two more fires ripped through Buffalo homes on Saturday, which brings the total to six over the past two days and includes one death, at least three dozen people displaced and $630,000 in damage. "This has been a little out of the norm for us," said Patrick Britzzalaro, a division chief with the Buffalo Fire Department. "And four second alarms within about 28 hours -- that's a lot."

Buffalo firefighters battled four fires on Friday, including one that killed a mother who raced back into a burning home to save her young son.

City firefighters were back at it on Saturday, when they were called to an early morning blaze in South Buffalo and one in the afternoon on the city's West Side.

Firefighters responded at 4:22 a.m. to 175 Cazenovia St., just north of Cazenovia Park, where the two-alarm fire broke out on the second floor and extended throughout the occupied 2 1/2 -story frame house.

The fire spread to two other homes, forced seven adults to seek emergency help from the Red Cross, caused more than $170,000 damage and injured two firefighters and at least one occupant.

Neither firefighter was seriously injured, fire officials said. One reported off-duty, while the other was being treated at a local hospital.

Fire officials listed $125,000 damage for 175 Cazenovia, $35,000 worth for 173 Cazenovia and $10,000 for 177 Cazenovia.

The cause of that fire is under investigation.

It was the fourth two-alarm fire in about 28 hours.

"Buffalo is an older Northeastern city where the housing stock is very old and it's very close together," Britzzalaro said. "When you get heavy fire conditions in one of these structures and it starts blowing out the other side, the exposures ignite very easily."

Later in the day, firefighters were called to extinguish a fire inside a two-story occupied house at 52 Dart St., near Forest Avenue.

That fire, which happened at about 1:40 p.m. on Saturday, caused an estimated $30,000 damage to the building and $15,000 damage to the contents. No injuries were reported. The cause is also under investigation.

It was the city's sixth fire in less than 48 hours.

The other unusual thing about this string of fires is that all of the structures were occupied at the time of the blaze, Britzzalaro said.

"We had a good number of people displaced in all of these," the division chief said.

The four fires on Friday were at:

--174 Timon St., where Lequeisha Watkins died while trying to rescue her three-year-old son, Malachi Norman, from their burning first-floor apartment. The boy was in critical condition at Women & Children's Hospital late Friday. Hospital officials did not release an update on his condition Saturday.

Watkins' fiance, Berry Norman Jr., and younger son escaped without injury, as did four residents in the upper apartment. The blaze caused $85,000 to the home and a total of $75,000 to the homes on either side.

--466 Franklin St. A welding machine inside a repair garage is believed to have sparked this blaze that spread to a second-floor apartment and caused $90,000 damage.

--46 Rose St. Fire in this East Side home left one person homeless and caused $40,000 damage.

--443 Forest Ave. The fire at this boarding house above the old Royal Pheasant restaurant left at least 27 people homeless and caused $125,000 damage.

The displaced boarders are staying with friends, family or at a homeless shelter, said Nancy Singh, the owner of the building.

"It's a miracle that everyone got out alive," Singh said.

Written by The Buffalo News

Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix


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