Firefighters Respond to Reported Fire Near Shea's

April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 6:59 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Rachel Elzufon

...
April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 6:59 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - A smokey two alarm blaze next door to the historic Shea's Performing Arts Theatre takes center stage for rescue on Wednesday afternoon.

Buffalo firefighters responded to a two-alarm blaze in the basement at Shea's Smith Theatre that sent smoke into the street at 12:30 in the afternoon.

Tony Conte says "We saw an electrical conduit that was sparking in the basement. We actually put the fire extinguishers on it. I think we emptied three fire extinguishers on there. And then the fire department showed up and they have the fire pretty much under control."

Even though no one was inside the Smith Theatre, crews took every precaution and evacuated neighboring the Shea's Performing Arts Center.

The fire commissioner says the fire was started by electrical work.

No injuries were reported.

Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says construction was a challenge as crews arrived to the scene.

In addition, the layout of the building was also a challenge.

"This building has a common upper area that runs that gamut of this building," Whitfield explains. "So we've got smoke in the upstairs throughout the building -- that's another problem. It's a common opening upstairs there."

However, Whitfield says they will learn from this fire.

The blaze caused $75-thousand worth of damage in the Shea's Smith Theatre.

The show currently performing at the Smith Theatre, "Late Night Catechism Las Vegas - Sister Rolls the Dice," will be moved to the 710 Main Theatre from Wednesday through Sunday. That theatre is located at the corner of Main Street and W Tupper Street.

Shows at the Shea's Performing Arts Center will not be affected.