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Two Rescues in 24 Hours

Two Rescues in 24 Hours

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The Buffalo News via YellowBrix

March 23, 2010

BUFFALO – An elderly woman described as being in a dazed condition was rescued by Buffalo firefighters early today after a fire next door began spreading into her home in the city’s Jefferson-Ferry area.

The rescue was the second in less than 24 hours by Buffalo firefighters. The first occurred early Sunday morning in Allentown.

Fire officials said the woman, whose name wasn’t available, was helped out of her home at 166 Purdy St. early this morning, after the fire had spread next door from an occupied house at 164 Purdy.

“It would have been only a few more minutes, and she would have been in really tough shape,” Division Chief John Mogavero said today.

Today’s fire left an estimated $100,000 damage to the occupied home at 164 Purdy St., just south of East Ferry Street and west of Jefferson Avenue. Fire officials requested emergency demolition of the house, and the Red Cross was called to assist two adults routed from their home.

The fire left an additional $15,000 damage to 166 Purdy St. Firefighters responding to a 2:32 a.m. alarm found the first home fully involved in fire when they arrived.

Division Chief Mogavero himself had crawled into a burning home less than 24 hours earlier, to rescue an unconscious woman who remains in critical condition today in Erie County Medical Center. Layna Williams, 58, was rescued from an apartment at 101 North Pearl St., at Allen Street.

A female police officer and Engine 2 responded first to the 4:15 a.m. fire call, and someone used a pry bar to pry open the front door, before being hit with a face full of smoke. The first firefighters at the scene used a hand line to enter the apartment house.

Mogavero walked around the house, where he noticed people pointing at the home and saying, “She’s still in there.”

“I had my gear, but I didn’t have my tank on,” the chief said. “I started crawling into the lobby. I was able to see they had the apartment door open.”

Mogavero dragged the woman out of the apartment, put her mostly over her shoulder, got her outside and carried her around the corner, where other firefighters had responded.

The fire caused an estimated $75,000 damage to the home.