Massive four-alarm blaze destroys Buffalo warehouse: Fire marshals investigating origins

Oct 28, 2014

Buffalo Fire Marshals are looking for the cause of yesterday's four-alarm blaze that leveled a warehouse on the city's east side and spread to several neighboring buildings.

Buffalo firefighters were called to the brick warehouse on Howard Street shortly after 3:30p.m..  Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says crews arrived to find the building fully involved with heavy fire conditions, the structure had already partially collapsed. 

Garnell says 22 of the city's 29 first line apparatus were called to the scene.  Whitfield says the wind made it a difficult battle, noting "The wind was tough.  The wind was blowing in the wrong direction and blowing back at us, very difficult, low visibility.  You had to mask up, put on your mask and that.  It encumbered our operations, absolutely."

Whitfield  identified the structure as a total loss, noting there was inventory inside the warehouse including auto glass.  Damage is estimated at $750,000 to the warehouse and $500,000 to it's contents. 

Fire officials say the blaze spread to three nearby buildings on Howard, Thomas and Metcalfe.  Officials add that two firefighters suffered minor injuries but remained on the scene.

Several witnesses speculated the fire was intentionally started.  The cause remains under investigation.

4-alarm blaze on Howard Street causing smoky conditions.
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond