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Four-alarm fire guts plant Blaze wreaks heavy damage on Salerno Paint & Paper

Damage to a paint and paper facility at Kensington and Wyoming avenues was estimated at $750,000 after a four-alarm fire ripped through the complex Tuesday afternoon.

Buffalo firefighters are still investigating the blaze, which was reported about 3:30 p.m. at Salerno Paint & Paper, 671 Wyoming Ave.

No company workers were injured during the fire, but four firefighters were transported to the hospital for minor issues such as heat exhaustion, said Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield Jr.

Initial findings determined that the fire began in a second-story portion of the building, and then spread to the remaining one-story portion, Whitfield said. The roof collapsed about 4:30 p.m.

The paint facility, located in a residential neighborhood, stored several volatile chemicals. For safety reasons, local residents were warned by authorities to stay away.

The building has not yet been declared a total loss, but Whitfield said it "doesn't look good."

"We're going to have a full investigation and figure out what caused the fire," he said. "Right now, we're not sure."

Multiple ladder trucks surrounded the facility in order to halt the spread of flames.

Flames were still visible on the bottom floor of the warehouse even hours after emergency personnel first arrived. Firefighters worked well into the evening extinguishing them.

Large amounts of smoke were clearly visible to motorists on the Kensington Expressway and throughout much of Buffalo's East Side.

Salerno Paint & Paper is a commercial and residential painting company that employs 10 people, according to its website.

e-mail: jbolitho@buffnews.com

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