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Two taken to hospital after wheelchair fire in Williamsville

A short in an electric wheelchair caused a small but smoky fire in St. Francis of Williamsville nursing home Thursday night, authorities said early Friday morning.

Two residents were taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and one staff member was taken to the St. Joseph’s Campus of Sisters Hospital after heavy smoke was reported at about 9 p.m. in wing five of the facility at 147 Reist St.

Emergency responders evaluated 46 residents, officials said.

Crews from Williamsville, Snyder and Main-Transit Fire companies extinguished the fire, and five ambulances responded to the facility. The fire and water damage was confined to the room where the blaze began, while the rest of the wing sustained smoke damage.

All other residents were able to remain in the home.

Damage has been estimated at $35,000.

The 142-bed skilled-nursing home is one of three “continuing care” facilities that Buffalo-based Catholic Health is selling to Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC, which operates several nursing and adult homes in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Missouri. The others are St. Elizabeth’s Home of Lancaster and St. Vincent’s Home of Dunkirk.