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Firefighters encounter clutter while fighting Bailey Avenue blaze

After the occupants safely fled, Buffalo firefighters were stymied Thursday morning in their efforts to extinguish a fire at a Bailey Avenue home filled with clutter.

The fire at 1146 Bailey Ave., reported at 6:29 a.m., started in the basement of the two-story home, officials reported. Firefighters on the scene reported difficulty gaining interior access because of clutter.

Firefighters have a term to describe such conditions: Collyers’ Mansion.

Its roots are in New York City, where Homer and Langley Collyer were found dead in 1947 in their home on Fifth Avenue in Harlem. More than 100 tons of clutter had accumulated in the home, according to numerous reports.

The Bailey Avenue fire was reported under control at about 7:15 a.m.

Damage was estimated at $25,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Two people who lived in the house are being helped by the Red Cross.