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POLICE & COURTS

>Chimney fire damages home in Hamburg

A chimney fire caused minor damage early Sunday to a Hamburg home.

The occupants of the McKinley Parkway residence started a fire in their fireplace upon returning from Saturday night's Buffalo Bills game, said Paul Zemla, chief of the Armor Volunteer Fire Company.

Burning paper or cardboard might have ignited the chimney, and the fire spread into the roof line, Zemla said.

Armor volunteer firefighters were called at 2:30 a.m. Sunday and had the fire under control within a half hour, he said.

Zemla estimated damages at $10,000 to $15,000.

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>Bandit goes away empty in gas station holdup

Town of Tonawanda police say a man attempted to rob the Sunoco A-Plus gas station at Niagara Falls Boulevard and Ellicott Creek Road on Sunday evening.

The would-be robber entered the store just before 7 p.m. and handed the clerk a note that stated he had a gun and demanded cash, according to Detective Charles Card.

The clerk asked if the robber was joking, the robber mumbled something, and both men stood there waiting for several tense moments, said police, adding that the man left the store empty-handed.

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>Masked man with a tool robs store in Royalton

ROYALTON -- The Niagara County Sheriff's Department is investigating an armed robbery shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday at A.J.'s Country Store on Royalton Center Road.

Police said a man wearing a ski mask threatened the clerk with a sharp tool and demanded cash, then fled on foot with an undetermined amount of money.

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