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Two firefighters remain hospitalized after East Side fire

Four firefighters were treated at Erie County Medical Center after a fire in a two-story house on Butler Avenue Thursday evening, according to Buffalo Police and Fire Department officials.

Firefighters were called to 82 Butler Ave. at about 8:30 p.m. for a call of smoke shooting from the second floor of the house, according to radio dispatches.

An official at the scene made a "mayday" call about a firefighter reported "down" in the building's attic and requested assistance, according to dispatch reports.

Buffalo Police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said late Thursday that fire officials reported the four sustained burns in the fire on Butler, and two were affected by smoke inhalation. Early Friday morning, DeGeorge said two firefighters had been treated and released while the other two remained at ECMC. One suffered third-degree burns to his hands and arms and was listed in stable condition Friday; the other sustained less severe burns and remains in the hospital for observation and evaluation.

No other injuries were reported due to the fire, DeGeorge said.

Buffalo Fire Division Chief Paul Graham said the firefighters suffered injuries involving burns, mainly steam burns. Graham said there was intense heat. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

"They did a great job," Graham said of the firefighters.

The fire started on the second floor and spread to the attic, he said.

Lydia Battle Moncrieft, 58, said she was in a downstairs bathroom getting ready for bed when neighbors who saw smoke banged on a door to get her out. She said she escaped the house with Jerome Owens, 64, a family friend who also lives there.

A third resident, Battle’s 22-year-old nephew, Alex Battle, lives in an upstairs apartment but was not home at the time.

Buffalo firefighters responded to a house fire at 82 Butler Ave. in Buffalo on Thursday. The two residents at home at the time escaped after a neighbor banged on the door and let them know there was a fire in the attic. Lydia Battle Moncrieft, who lives in the house, escaped with a friend who also lives there. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Duane Battle, Lydia's brother, arrived at the scene after her sister evacuated and said he saw crews take one firefighter out on a stretcher.

"I’m not worried about our stuff. I’m worried about that fireman,” Alex Battle said.

The family stood outside in the cold late Thursday, watching firefighters work the scene.

Battle Moncrieft, dressed in pajamas and a parka, wept as her niece embraced her.

The fire caused $150,000 in damage to the building and $75,000 to its contents, according to dispatch reports.


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