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FIRE HITS 2 SPRUCE ST. HOMES; POSSIBLE LINK TO ASSAULT PROBED

The Red Cross is assisting four adults and three children after an early-morning fire heavily damaged two homes on Spruce Street.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury while battling the blaze but remained on duty.

Fire officials are still trying to determine a cause and are investigating a possible link between an assault at the one of the homes just hours before the fire.

Fire officials said the blaze started at 1:45 a.m. in an alley and first involved 55 Spruce.

Damage was estimated at $50,000 to the 2 1/2 -story home and $10,000 to the contents. The blaze spread to 53 Spruce, which had about $25,000 damage to the house and $5,000 damage to the contents.

According to Buffalo police, at about 9:15 p.m. Sunday a resident at 55 Spruce was beaten by three women and one man.

Central District officers said assailants got out of a car, kicked and punched him and struck him with a wooden bat.

The man was treated in Erie County Medical Center for a right leg injury and a cut on his left hand.

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