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A group led by the father of a Buffalo firefighter killed on duty is raising money to buy special cameras that have saved lives and limited property losses in fires.

"I think we have a great goal here -- a unique goal," said Larry Seguin, the father of Engine 33 Firefighter Michael Seguin, who died of smoke inhalation suffered during a July 4 house fire. The younger Seguin had been a Buffalo firefighter for four years.

Seguin's committee is comprised of family, friends and co-workers of the late firefighter at the National Guard and People Inc.

The effort is known as "The Seguin Project." It aims to buy one or more thermal-imaging cameras that would be donated to the Buffalo Fire Department.

The hand-held, battery-powered unit would allow firefighters to see objects clearly through smoke and darkness, enabling them to spot fire victims, obstacles and even detect fire hidden in walls.

The units cost $14,000 to $18,000 each.

"I don't understand why they (Buffalo Fire Department) haven't gotten a unit like this a long time ago," Seguin said. Several suburban fire departments have the cameras.

Seguin said he has met with Fire Commissioner Cornelius Keane and "he's all for it. He's given us his blessings."

All funds raised will go for the cameras, Seguin said. Besides the direct solicitation, the committee hopes to conduct a fund-raising dinner-dance this fall.

M&T bank branches throughout the Buffalo and Rochester areas will accept donations to the Seguin Project.

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