BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Several businesses were displaced and others are dealing with heavy smoke damage after a two-alarm fire broke out at a plaza on Kensington Avenue in Buffalo Saturday afternoon.

The fire started at Cleve-Hill Medical Park on the corner of Kensington and Eggert Road just after 4:20 p.m. Buffalo Fire Department Division Chief Tom Meldrum told News 4 that firefighters first received a call reporting flames coming from Nickel City Laundromat and on arrival found the actual source of smoke to be the office buildings next door.

Meldrum said the flames spread quickly between the false ceiling and a roof of offices belonging to the Buffalo SNUG Violence Prevention Initiative and DaVita Dialysis Center. Meldrum said the roof collapsed in that area of the building.

“There’s a good possibility that that center section [of the plaza] will have to be demolished and rebuilt,” Meldrum said.

The DaVita office was being used solely for administrative purposes, and no patients were inside.

Michael Gersitz, the owner of Nickel City Laundromat, rushed to the scene around 4:30 as he thought his business was the source of the fire. While the laundromat did not go up in flames, it still took heavy smoke and water damage. He does not know how long it will take to repair and reopen his business.

“They turned off all the utilities in the whole plaza — gas, electric, water — and they have no timeline of when it will be back,” Gersitz said.

Fire investigators estimate the total damage incurred to be around $3 million.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.

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