Seven-year-old Alexavier Torres-Santiago died in a fire at 1400 Fillmore Avenue Sunday. Buffalo Fire Department Commissioner Garnell Whitfield said the cause of the blaze is still undetermined and the investigation is ongoing.
“In this particular instance, we were there within the prescribed four minutes on scene and pushing into the upper floor of the house. [It was an] extensive fire load, extensive heat and smoke. The men and women of the Buffalo Fire Department put their lives on the line in an attempt to rescue this young man,” said Whitfield Monday.
The victim’s family members evacuated the upper apartment before firefighters arrived on scene. There was no one in the lower apartment at the time of the fire.
The family members include the victim’s stepfather, Carlos Rodriguez, his mother, Sara Santiago-Delgado, two sisters, ages 11 and 6, and a brother, 9. The name of the third adult who escaped was not released.
Whitfield says it is undetermined whether there were working smoke detectors in the home.
“Family members were sequestered in our rehab vehicle while on scene as we fought the fire. Eventually they were transported to Women & Children’s Hospital. All of them suffering from minor smoke inhalation, a few abrasions, but no life threatening issues whatsoever. They were treated and released from Women & Children’s Hospital. They are being assisted by the Red Cross,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield says investigators are unsure where the fire originated. He added that there wasn't anything suspicious about the nature of the blaze.
“In terms of whether he [Alexavier] was hiding or not, that has not yet been determined. His exact location within the house is part of the investigation and we’re not going to release that information at this time,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield adds that the building will be demolished after the investigation is complete.