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Saving woman from E. Side blaze is second fire rescue within a day

An elderly woman described as being in a dazed condition was rescued by Buffalo firefighters early Monday after a fire next door began spreading into her home in the city's Jefferson-Ferry area.

The rescue was the second in less than 24 hours by Buffalo firefighters. The first occurred early Sunday in Allentown.

Fire officials said the woman, whose name was not immediately available, was helped out of her home at 166 Purdy St. early Monday after the fire had spread next door from an occupied house at 164 Purdy.

"It would have been only a few more minutes, and she would have been in really tough shape," said Division Chief John R. Mogavero.

The blaze left an estimated $100,000 damage to 164 Purdy, just south of East Ferry Street and west of Jefferson Avenue. Fire officials requested emergency demolition of the house, and the Red Cross was called to assist two adults routed from their home.

The fire left an additional $15,000 damage to 166 Purdy. Firefighters responding to a 2:32 a.m. alarm found the first home fully involved in fire when they arrived.

Mogavero had crawled into a burning home less than 24 hours earlier to rescue an unconscious woman who remained in critical condition Monday in Erie County Medical Center. Layna Williams, 58, was rescued from an apartment at 101 North Pearl St., at Allen Street.

A police officer and firefighters from Engine 2 responded first to the 4:15 a.m. fire call, and someone used a pry bar to open the front door before confronting a wall of smoke. Firefighters used a hand line to enter the apartment house.

Mogavero walked around the house, where he noticed people pointing at the home and saying, "She's still in there."

"I had my gear, but I didn't have my tank on," the division chief said. "I started crawling into the lobby. I was able to see they had the apartment door open."

Mogavero dragged the woman out of the apartment, put her mostly over his shoulder, got her outside and carried her around the corner, where other firefighters had responded.

The fire caused an estimated in $75,000 damage to the home.

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

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