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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cheektowaga N.Y. House Fire - Two Fatalities

Cleveland Hill Fire Chief Joe Lewis said, “We could see from the front door that the first floor had collapsed. It was just too dangerous to enter so we had lines all over trying to hit it from the outside to knock it down enough so we could see to try to make entry.”

Fire Chief Lewis said, “With it being a brick structure it holds the heat in, so the only place to vent is through the floors and out the roof.”

“The fire load was immense, so it took a while to get it under control enough that we were able to safely send firefighters in to get to the rest of the fire,”  said Chief Lewis.

CHEEKTOWAGE, N.Y.  (The Buffalo News) — Dental records are expected to be used to confirm the identities of two people who died early today in a Cheektowaga house fire, where unstable structural conditions are slowing the work of fire investigators.

“The fire’s out. The bodies have been removed,” police Capt. Scott E. Pilat said late this morning.

Three town police arson investigators are on the scene at 27 Furlong Road.

“They’re having a hard time getting in,” Pilat said, explaining that floor joists were burned out and it’s feared the ceiling joists could collapse.

“Safety’s paramount,” Pilat said.

Firefighters still on the scene are attempting to position ladders to span multiple joists, Pilat said.

The fire, reported at 4:22 a.m., is believed to have started on the first floor of the 1½-story Cape home. Police officials said the floor caved in, making it difficult for firefighters to enter the house or find the occupants.

Susan Seawood, who lives nearby, said she woke up and saw “flames were just jumping out of the front of the house.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Autopsies on the remains were scheduled for Wednesday.

Read more of the story here 

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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