Flames engulfed the house on Buffalo's eastside. A downed power line near the home made it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze. The fire happened late Saturday afternoon at 168 Southampton Street. Firefighters say the flames charred through the roof and attic all the way down to the basement. No one was inside the building at the time. An energized power line that came down behind the home prevented crews from getting to the back of the structure where the flames were heaviest.
"Once we started laying lines we noticed that the fire was actually on the rear wall of it and climbed up the whole back of the structure. We had a power line that came down in the back that was energized and that prevented us from getting to the rear of the building," said John Mogavero, the Division Chief for the Buffalo Fire Department.
Some of residents of the building tell Eyewitness News they left the building just about an hour before the fire started. A neighbor called to tell them their house was on fire and they rushed back home. The fire caused an estimated $40,000 in damages.
People who lived in the building will not be able to return home until the building gets extensive repairs. The fire chief tells Eyewitness News the Red Cross has offered the residents assistance.