Fire in Buffalo High Rise Building

February 14, 2012 Updated Feb 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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February 14, 2012 Updated Feb 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM EDT


(Buffalo, NY) An intense fire in the 8th floor of the Convention Tower, in downtown Buffalo, forced the evacuation of hundreds of people and required firefighters to carry equipment up several flights of stairs.

The two-alarm fire broke out just before 11am.

Officials say, an employee on the 8th floor heard a noise, discovered a fire in an office, and called 911.

Building fire alarms were sounded and most people evacuated, although fire crews did have to search for people still inside.

"We had to go though and search the building. We did find some stragglers in there. One guy was on the 10th floor late into the event, but he was evacuated safely," adds Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, Jr.

"To be honest with you, we thought it was just another routine. We started going down the stairwell, and we could smell smoke, and then the firemen started coming up." says evacuated worker, Brian Meyer.

Fire investigators tell Eyewitness News the blaze was mostly contained inside the law offices of James Naples, but some flames did extent into the hallway.

Smoke and water damage is said to be extensive on the 8th floor, and it also affected areas both above and below the 8th floor.

Officials say the fire caused around $325,000 in damage.

Two firemen were injured and taken to Erie County Medical Center for evaluation. Their status was not disclosed as of Tuesday evening.

No injuries were reported to any of the tenants that were evacuated.

Tenants are being told the Convention Tower will be open for business on Wednesday, but there could be interruptions in elevator service.