A few weeks ago, I asked the city Fire Department for details on fires reported in the past year or so, and statistics going a few years further back. I haven't gotten a response yet to that request, but after Friday's fatal fire on Humber Avenue, I did a little research on my own while waiting for the Fire Department documents.
Here's a bit of what I found:
- 24 fires reported so far this year - that's just about one every other day.
- Friday's was the first fire this year where any people were killed.
- Two dogs died in a South Buffalo house fire in January. The residents were not home at the time.
- Two Valentine's Day fires left eight people homeless that day.
- No one was in a Division Street house when it caught fire earlier this month, but the blaze spread to two nearby occupied houses. Three people made it our safely.
- Six firefighters were temporarily trapped in an East Delavan Avenue convenience store fire in January, sending out a Mayday before escaping on their own from the smoky building.
Support for the family of Demetrius Johnson, a "hero" who died saving his children in house fire
I covered a church service Sunday at Mt. Hope Community Church on Broadway for the victims of Friday's fatal fire and their families. The Johnson family asks that people pray for Treasure, 8, who has burns over 90 percent of her body, and is about to begin undergoing a series of surgeries.
Here's a link to the story in today's Buffalo News and buffalonews.com, and here's some photos I took during the service:
The annual Black History Month event is always a fun time in City Hall. Here's who got this year's awards:
Arts and Culture Award: Paulette Harris, African American Cultural Center
Community Service Award: Tawann Slaughter, CEO Buffalo 716' ers
Education Award: Katherine Conway Turner, president Buffalo State College
Education Award: Catherine Collins, NYS Education Regent
Family Award: Pridgen Family
Healthcare Award: Dr. Charles Anderson, posthumously
Youth Award: Karen Saxon, director of Performing Arts Choir
Youth Award: Founder of F.A.T.H.E.R.S.
Faith-based Award: Var-Son Community Choir
Planning Board meets this afternoon.