BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Less than hour after leaving a fire on Timon Street early Friday morning , firefighters had to battle a blaze on Forest Avenue. Thirty people were displaced by the huge early-morning fire. The fire ripped apart a building and boarding house on Forest Avenue early Friday morning. Everyone was able to make it out of their apartments before the building was destroyed by the flames.
The building holds 20 apartments, 30 residents had to be evacuated and are now displaced. It's believed that the fire started in the back, first floor of the building and then quickly spread.
Residents of the building described a frantic scene as smoke billowed through the hallways around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning.
Building resident Jim said, "I was sound asleep. I heard them howling 'fire', I came down the fire escape and here I am."
Resident Robert VonGunden said, "You couldn't see anything. You couldn't see any flames or anything, all it was, was real deep thick smoke."
Michael Ford said, "When you came out, you had to feel your way to the stairs. The smoke was so thick, you couldn't see anything. You couldn't see anything ok. Everyone made it out though. Thank God for that."
Shortly after the residents all made it out safely, flames tore through the building. Engulfing the apartments and the Mixology Restaurant, which also used to be The Pheasant Restaurant.
Buffalo firefighters were able to control the blaze quickly, but it is believed the building will be a complete loss. As for the residents, the American Red Cross sent an NFTA bus to keep everyone warm and take tenants to a local shelter.
Red Cross Volunteer Julia Spitz said, "We're ensuring they have food, clothing and shelter for tonight and then tomorrow morning they can go to the Red Cross chapter and get set up on a more long-term basis ."
The residents have been taken to St. Paul's Cathedral in the meantime. Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.
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