A car fire Saturday night heavily damaged two unoccupied houses, one of which was fortified with security doors and plywood over the windows, making it hard for firefighters to get inside, Dunkirk fire officials said.
The blaze began in a car near Pelican and West Third streets around 10:58 p.m. Fire crews found the car fully involved and quickly put out that blaze, but it already had spread to the houses. A vacant house at 33 West Third was heavily damaged, while 35 West Third is occupied by tenants who were not home at the time. Because of problems gaining entry, firefighters abandoned interior operations at 35 West Third and used several large hose lines and a ladder truck to extinguish the blaze from the outside in an effort that took nearly three hours.
No dollar estimate of the damages was provided. One firefighter was treated and released from Brooks Memorial Hospital. The East and West Town Fire Departments and Fredonia Fire and ALSTAR ambulance assisted. Dunkirk and Chautauqua County fire investigators are probing the blaze.