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Firefighters battle 'suspicious' blaze at vacant house on Rustic next to church

Buffalo firefighters battled a "suspicious" fire Tuesday morning in an abandoned house at 22 Rustic Place.

The fire was reported shortly before 8:30 a.m. on the second floor of the 2 1/2 story dwelling before spreading to the attic, said Buffalo fire dispatchers.

The house is located behind the Resurrection Lutheran Church, 1609 Genesee St.

Neighbors said a squatter is occasionally seen going inside the vacant structure. The person's whereabouts were unknown today.

Fire investigators at the scene described the fire as "suspicious" and damages were estimated at $80,000.

The house was the scene of another fire at 2 a.m. Aug. 2 that left six adults and four children homeless. The cause of that fire remains under investigation. It caused $25,000 in damages.

Neighbors on the scene of Tuesday's fire said they saw "all kinds of people" taking things from the house -- including a furnace. Bars were also stolen from the abandoned structure's windows.

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