Remembering the Buffalo propane explosion 35 years later

Local News

Thursday marked 35 years since a propane explosion blew apart blocks of Buffalo’s east side.

The December 27, 1983 tragedy still stands as the deadliest ever faced by the Buffalo Fire Department.

Seven people, including five firefighters died after responding to a propane gas leak. Two of the victims were nearby citizens.

At 8:23 that night, firefighters were called to a four-story warehouse on N. Division Street after reports of a propane leak. Just seconds after firefighters arrived, the propane tank detonated. The explosion leveled the building and other structures, killing seven people and injuring a dozen others.

Every year on the anniversary of the explosion, loved ones gather at the scene to once again remember. The fire department rings out the alarm 191 to honor the five firefighters of Ladder five.

“It’s just important to remember, I mean that’s the only way to honor, honor our fallen, just remember them. As long as there’s a fire department, as long as there’s Engine 32 and Ladder 5, people will be here every year,” said Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo.

“I was sad to see something like this happen and I hope something like this never happens again anywhere because too many innocent people were killed. It was one of the darkest days of Buffalo’s history,” said Donley Haney, former neighbor.

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