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POLICE & COURTS

>Blaze at vacant house injures Buffalo firefighter

A Buffalo firefighter was injured Sunday while trying to put out a fire at a vacant house on Wende Street.

He was taken to Erie County Medical Center after apparently being hit by a piece of falling debris as the roof at 124 Wende St. began to collapse. His identity and condition were not available Sunday night.

The cause of the fire, which occurred shortly before 8 p.m. and was put out an hour or so later, remains under investigation.

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>Kitchen fire closes Williamsville restaurant

The Original Pancake House in Williamsville was closed Sunday after food left on a stove in the kitchen caused a fire Saturday night, authorities reported.

Amherst Fire Dispatch said a caller reported seeing smoke coming from the restaurant at 5479 Main St. at about 11:25 p.m. Williamsville firefighters confined the fire to the kitchen.

Fire officials said the damage was about $10,000 to the contents, with no damage to the structure. A restaurant employee said he was unsure when it will reopen.

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>Painting stolen at art festival

A painting was stolen Sunday afternoon from an artist's booth at the Allentown Art Festival.

The painting by Lisa Arkus, of Galeton, Pa., was of a black cat with a tree and sun, and was valued at $300, said Buffalo police spokesman Michael DeGeorge. The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. and remains under investigation.

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>Officer injured when police car hits porch

A Buffalo police officer was injured Sunday morning when she accidentally struck the porch of a house on Suffolk Street while responding to a call.

Debra Perry, 39, broke her ankle and suffered additional minor injuries after her police car hit a front porch at 29 Suffolk St., said Buffalo police spokesman Michael DeGeorge.

She was responding as the backup car for a domestic fight nearby, he said.

Perry was treated in Erie County Medical Center and was expected to be released Sunday night.

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>Coast Guard rescues two after boat flips

The U.S. Coast Guard in Buffalo rescued two men Sunday afternoon after their boat capsized 200 feet off the shore from Lackawanna.

A Coast Guard Station boat was returning to base when the crew spotted two red flares at around 3:30 p.m. Coast guardsmen responded and found a 17-foot boat capsized and two people in the water. The two unidentified boaters declined treatment, officials said.

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>Police quickly capture three in armed robbery

Ferry-Fillmore District officers arrested three young men accused of forcing workers and customers of a Fillmore Avenue food mart onto the floor at gunpoint early Friday, then stealing several hundred dollars.

Police said the three held up the Metro Food Mart, 389 Fillmore, at about 3:20 a.m. They fled toward the nearby railroad tracks and then scattered. They were caught less than an hour later by a total of nine officers and detectives, who also recovered the money and weapons.

They were identified as William J. Coleman, 16, of Lasalle Avenue; Devon M. Jones, 18, of Goodyear Avenue; and Jonathan L. McEnnis, 22, of Kensington Avenue. All face charges of first-degree robbery, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of stolen property and menacing, police said.

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>Seneca St. man charged in identity theft case

Three local law enforcement agencies teamed up to arrest a Buffalo man in connection with the theft of two luxury vehicles through an identity theft scheme.

The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Maurice McDuffie, 39, of Seneca Street, on two felony counts of criminal possession of stolen property. He was arraigned in Amherst Town Court and sent to Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $10,000 bail.

State police, Erie County sheriff's deputies and county prosecutors determined that a 1999 Mercedes-Benz and a 2004 Infiniti SUV, together valued at about $60,000, were purchased from an Amherst dealership with financing obtained through the victim's personal information.

Police are attempting to locate a second "person of interest" in the case -- Demetrius Fields, 48, whose last known address was on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Anyone with information should call the State Police BCI at 759-6831.

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>Resident trying to flee gunman shot in groin

A Schuele Street man was shot Sunday morning as he was being chased by another man near his home.

Jason Oden, 32, was taken to Erie County Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, said Buffalo police spokesman Michael DeGeorge.

The gunman caught up to him, shot him in the groin and took a gold medallion that Oden was wearing around his neck, police said.

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