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Town of Lancaster home is destroyed by fire

A late morning house fire Monday on Didion Road in the town of Lancaster destroyed the structure, according to fire reports.

The blaze broke out in the home between Brunck and Hall roads about 10 a.m.

Town Line firefighters arrived to find heavy fire conditions on the first floor, according to Erie County Fire Wire reports.

Volunteers were assisted by Lancaster Village firefighters as well as Twin District and Depew.

The cause of the blaze remained under investigation Monday night.


Lackawanna man identified as fatal crash victim

A 53-year-old Lackawanna man was killed Sunday afternoon when another vehicle went out of control on Route 219, crossed the center line and struck his vehicle head-on in the Town of Ellicottville, state police reported.

Joseph Faircloth was pronounced dead at the scene, following the crash that occurred about 1:35 p.m. on Route 219, just north of Jackman Hill Road.

Troopers said Faircloth was heading south when his vehicle was struck by a northbound vehicle driven by Matthew Disch, 33, of Henrietta. Officials said the road was snow- and ice-covered at the time of the crash.

Disch was taken to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital with a broken ankle. Three others, apparently from the Faircloth vehicle, were taken to Bertrand Chaffee with minor injuries.


Town of Tonawanda man charged in two burglaries

Town of Tonawanda police have arrested a local resident in a pair of commercial burglaries last July, as they also investigate his possible involvement in a string of residential break-ins in late 2009 and early 2010.

Detectives arrested Christopher C. Sturniolo, 37, of Woodstock Avenue, Tonawanda, in connection with the July 9 burglaries of Heritage Christian Services, and Pikes, Peaks and Paddles, both on Ellicott Creek Road.

Physical evidence recovered at the scene, along with DNA technology, helped crack the case, officials said.

Police also labeled Sturniolo a person of interest in the residential burglaries in the Green Acres neighborhood from 2009 and 2010. Detectives are looking through evidence to make a possible connection.

Sturniolo was arraigned before Town Justice J. Mark Gruber, who sent him to the Erie County Holding Center on $10,000 bail.


2 home break-ins reported on Buffalo's East Side

Two city residents reported that thieves broke into their homes Saturday and stole more than $2,000 worth of items in the unrelated burglaries, according to Buffalo police.

In the first incident, on Monroe Street, near Clinton Street and Jefferson Avenue, the victim said someone broke the door frame to gain access to his upper apartment.

The break-in happened between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and the burglar, likely with assistance, stole a living-room set with sofa, 37-inch TV, microwave, coffee maker and cutting board with knives. The theft had a value of $2,890.

In the second incident, which happened between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., the burglar kicked in the front door to a residence on Zenner Street in the Genesee-Moselle neighborhood.

The thief stole an Xbox video-game system, 25 video games and more than $2,000 worth of jewelry.


Falls woman hurt in crash wins $86,000 jury verdict

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 25-year-old Niagara Falls woman who suffered a back injury in a 2003 auto accident was awarded an $86,000 jury verdict last week, her attorney said Monday.

The jury in State Supreme Court found that plaintiff Jennifer Jordan, an assistant manager at a cell phone store, did not have a permanent injury, but she will have "significant limitation" in her activities because of the two bulging disks that resulted when the car in which she was a front-seat passenger rear-ended a truck Nov. 21, 2003.

Attorney J. Patrick Lennon of the firm of Rosenthal, Siegel & Muenkel said Jordan, who was 18 at the time of the collision, sued the woman, then 17, who was driving the car in which she was riding. The payout will come from State Farm, the woman's insurance company.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Walmore and Lockport roads in Wheatfield. Court papers said the car in which Jordan was riding was northbound and struck the truck, which was in one of several vehicles in line at a stop sign during the Friday afternoon rush hour.

The two-day trial before Justice Ralph A. Boniello III ended Thursday.


Vacant Falls home sustains water damage from cut pipe

NIAGARA FALLS -- A would-be copper thief caused extensive damage to a vacant Forest Avenue home Saturday by cutting a water pipe and leaving the water flowing into the house.

Police were called to the home in the 2200 block of Forest Avenue shortly after 4 p.m., after someone noticed an open door and heard water running inside. Officers said a rear door had been forced open and that they encountered a flooded kitchen floor.

Upstairs, they found a water pipe had been cut in a bathroom, causing the flooding. Officers were unable to check the basement of the home as it was about waist-deep with water.

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