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SWAT team breaks down door of empty house on Riverside

Buffalo police surrounded a house on Riverside Avenue in Black Rock for more than two hours Sunday after receiving a report of a man armed with a gun and other persons inside.

However, after firing tear gas into the 2 1/2-story, two-family house at 72 Riverside and battering down the front door at 7:17 p.m., SWAT team officers emerged 10 minutes later with no prisoner. Police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge confirmed that a search of the house showed there was no one inside. He said an investigation of the incident will continue.

Residents who were outside when the standoff began said they were ordered back about 300 feet from the scene between Niagara and Tonawanda streets, while those at home were ordered to remain indoors. Some residents outside coughed and sneezed as the breeze carried the tear gas toward them.

“It’s not something you see every day, unless you live in a war zone,” said Loretta Smith-Jones of Tonawanda Street.