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Firefighters kept busy battling 5 fires; investigators probing 2 as possible arsons

At least five fires raged across Buffalo late Monday through early today, and fire marshals were investigating two of the blazes as possible arson cases.

The first suspected arson broke out at about 7 p.m. in a one-story cinderblock warehouse at 803 Walden Ave., housing several businesses including Laidlaw Transit bus company facilities, a carwash and the Serv-A-Snak potato chip business.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the fire, which caused about $100,000 in damage.

Police were called in to help secure the scene as fire investigators were trying to determine how the blaze started.

Then, at about 7:30 p.m., firefighters were called to Chi-Chi's Hardware & Tool Rental at 375 Grant St.

Damage was listed at about $200,000. Marshals suspected arson in this fire as well. No injuries were reported.

Three other fires kept firefighters busy overnight.

At 11:14 p.m. flames ripped through a vacant house at 254 Leroy Ave., causing $50,000 in damage. The structure was scheduled for emergency demolition.

At just before midnight, a fire in a first-floor hallway laundry room at 200 Seventh St. caused $55,00 in damage.

And at about 2 a.m., a fire broke out in the kitchen of a Buffalo State College dormitory. College and fire officials said the blaze was caused by a faulty microwave. Damage to the building was estimated at about $30,000 to $40,000.

e-mail: mbecker@buffnews.com and tpignataro@buffnews.com

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