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Homeowner collapses after escaping fire

A Depew man collapsed and died Saturday morning after escaping a fire in his house.

William George Sr., 46, of 47 Pamela Drive was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Cheektowaga, where he was pronounced dead.

A heat lamp knocked onto bedding sparked a fire in one of the bedrooms at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Peter Michaels, assistant chief of the Depew Volunteer Fire Department.

George and his two sons put out the flames, Michaels said, and at some point left the house.

When the family returned, the fire had reignited. The fire department was called at 10:42 a.m. George collapsed in his driveway while talking to firefighters.

"I was first on the scene, and was in the driveway questioning him," Michaels said. "He was . . . relatively calm and answering my questions. The next thing I know, he collapsed in the driveway."

The cause of death was unclear Saturday.

The fire caused $10,000 damage to the structure and $4,500 to its contents, Michaels said.


Stolen card number used to buy breast implants

A Buffalo woman learned recently that a co-worker used her credit card number to make a car payment and to pay for breast enhancements, according to police reports.

Charged with a felony county of grand larceny, theft of services and conspiracy is Evangolis S. Smith, 27, of Davidson Ave. She was employed at Knockout Lockouts, which helps people get into their vehicles when they've locked their keys inside.

The victim found charges she had not incurred on her credit card statement and traced some of the expenses to an institute of cosmetology and a physicians trust account that lets people pay for surgeries over time.

In total, $1,495 was charged to her credit card, of which $1,235 was for breast enhancements, according to reports filed Saturday.


Murder charge filed, extradition hearing set

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- An extradition hearing is expected to be held this week in Wisconsin for a Niagara Falls man accused of murdering a former Falls resident in Florida.

Investigators at the Indian River County Sheriff's Department have lodged a second-degree murder charge against Louis D'Angelo, 42, who lists an address of Ferry Avenue. He is accused of strangling former Falls resident Joann Lynette Gray after visiting her Vero Beach home sometime around Christmas.

Gray's body was found inside the trunk of her 1986 Jaguar in a Madison, Wis., storage facility earlier this month. D'Angelo, a former Falls bouncer, confessed to the crime in a statement to Florida authorities and FBI agents, investigators said.

Gray met D'Angelo at a Niagara Falls bar and traveled back to Florida with him so he could do some handiwork on her hurricane-damaged home.


$280 taken from 2 men in gunpoint robbery

Two men were robbed at gunpoint Saturday afternoon off Genesee Street, near Bailey Avenue.

The victims -- one 21, another 19 -- told Buffalo police they were in the 100 block of Leslie Street at about 2 p.m. Saturday when they were approached by three men, one of them brandishing a silver handgun, according to police reports.

The 21-year-old had $60 stolen from him and the 19-year-old had $220 taken, police said. Sketchy descriptions were given of the holdup men. A third person was with the victims at the time of the robbery but ran away, police said.


Stolen car's recovery leads to four arrests

Buffalo police early Saturday arrested four people and said they recovered crack cocaine from a 2004 Acura that had been reported stolen Feb. 3 from the Ray Laks dealership at 7460 Transit Road.

The vehicle was recovered. Wilbert Maxwell, 16, of Gibson Street, and Rakim Goss, 16, of Rodney Avenue., and two juveniles were charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance, police reported.


Fire damages 2 homes; one ordered demolished

A ruined Buffalo residence was ordered demolished after a blaze early Saturday, one of two fires that struck city homes before dawn.

The house at 114 East End Ave. was a total loss, estimated at $100,000 for the structure and its contents, said Buffalo firefighters, who responded about 6 a.m. The Red Cross is helping the occupants. Damage to the structure next door, at 110 East End, was estimated at $5,000.

At 3:23 a.m., firefighters responded to an alarm after a portable heater tipped at 156 Peabody St. Two children had to be treated for smoke inhalation. Some contents of the home, not the structure itself, were damaged, firefighters said.

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