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Cheektowaga house may be total loss after fire

A Cheektowaga home was extensively damaged Tuesday afternoon by fire that originated in the basement and raged for several hours, officials said.

U-Crest firefighters were called to 143 Wellworth Place at 12:43 p.m. for a report of heavy smoke coming from the unoccupied home, Chief Ron Pocobello said.

Pocobello said firefighters were hampered from battling the blaze because the home, which is under the flight path for a Buffalo Niagara International Airport runway, had been reinforced with triple-pane windows and steel doors to make it airtight and soundproof.

Firefighters needed several hours to bring the fire under control. A dog rescued from the home died from its injuries, and one firefighter was treated and released from a local hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation, Pocobello said.

The house may be a total loss because of the extensive damage to the basement and first floor walls, he said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.