Family of three killed in overnight Buffalo fire

Sep 25, 2020

Buffalo fire officials say three people, including a baby, died in a two-alarm fire early Friday morning.

Firefighters were called to a building at 57 East Utica shortly after 2 a.m. Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, during a briefing later Friday morning, said firefighters arriving on the scene found flames in the rear of the first floor which quickly spread to the second and third floors.

Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo speaks Friday morning, hours after a deadly fire at 57 East Utica Street. Three people, including a baby, were killed in the two-alarm fire.
Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO

"We conducted primary and secondary searches, in conjunction with fighting the fire. At one point in time we did discover the victims on the third floor of the rear of the structure," Renaldo said. "We had a 25-year-old male, a 28-year-old female, and a one-year-old girl."

Relatives of the victims later identified their deceased loved ones to WIVB-TV as Anthony Gouchie, Emma Johnson and their daughter, Amira.

The cause remained under investigation Friday afternoon, but Renaldo stated they believed the flames originated from a car fire adjacent to the building.

The commissioner also spoke of the additional heartache among firefighters knowing a child is among the dead.

"Everyone's affected differently," he said. "Everyone has young children at home, of grandchildren. Our department chaplain was at the scene. We also have grief counselors available. People handle it in different ways, depending on how many years you've got on the job."