BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Flames broke out at a home on Edna Place in Lackawanna early Monday morning. Fire officials tell News 4 that two people were taken to the hospital. There is no word at this time on what caused the fire.
Meantime, a battle between Lackawanna's mayor and firefighters is heating up over closing a firehouse.
Firefighters say if all three fire halls hadn't been open at the time of the fire, it could have be a very different scene.
The fire started in the back of the house, quickly spreading up to the second floor, and damaging the house next door.
"We were able to stop the fire, confine it to the second story. Of course there's some damage, but not as much as there would have been," said Lackawanna Fire Captain Gary Strzelczyk.
Not as much, because Strzelczyk says ten firefighters responded to the scene.
"We responded with a full complement of ten men tonight. The house on Abbott Road was not closed. If we had waited two more hours, the house would have been closed today and we would have had six guys it would have been a big difference," said Strzelczyk.
As we've reported, Mayor Geoffrey Syzmanski is closing down Fire Hall 2 when staffing would require overtime. This comes after 856 hours of overtime in the last pay period.
The union president says if Fire Hall 2 would have been closed, in addition to fewer firemen, it would have taken an additional 8 to 10 minutes to be able to get the ladder truck to the scene.
"If we didn't have enough men we probably would have lost the first house and had significant damage to the second house," said Strzelczyk.
Strzelcyk says the move to close the fire hall puts safety in jeopardy.
"We're furious at the carelessness of this move is what we have the biggest issue with and they don't know how fire department works," said Strzelczyk.
This is what the mayor had to say about safety the last time we interviewed him.
"We still have them located in strategic positions to reach anywhere in the city within a 3 minute period of time," said Syzmanski.
The union president tells News 4 Fire Hall 2 is open Monday because a captain pulled his vacation he originally had scheduled.
The mayor says overtime has been cut in half since the last pay period.
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