Multiple firefighters hospitalized fighting blazes

August 25, 2012 Updated Aug 25, 2012 at 11:35 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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August 25, 2012 Updated Aug 25, 2012 at 11:35 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - One witness reports hearing multiple explosions before two Buffalo businesses and two homes went up in smoke Saturday evening.

Almost a dozen people are now left without a home and several firefighters are hospitalized.

Buffalo fire officials tell Eyewitness News that multiple firefighters were injured during two separate fires.

The firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion, burns and a back injury. However, the number of firefighters injured is unclear.

The first fire occurred at Bailey and Hewitt in Buffalo. At least three firefighters were taken to ECMC.

The fire also completely destroyed another building and left two more damaged, displacing eleven people. The American Red Cross is helping them find a place to stay.

After firefighters put out the blaze, witnesses stayed.

Jack Cromwell told Eyewitness News "it was just horrifying to see that smoke come out of the skies." He heard several pops as the building burst into flames.

Cromwell adds "it was shocking to see a family business go up in smoke and stuff -- it was just sad."

The building next door had a restaurant inside, which has been marked for emergency demolition.

Nearby resident Erik Pitzonka says "I just started crying, believe it or not, because to me it's a neighborhood restaurant."

Pitzonka says he's counting his blessings. Erik had actually been considering going to the restaurant -- but changed his mind because of a gut feeling.

He adds" I'm lucky because if there was a fire and I could have been in there ... Because once in awhile, you have a funny feeling something going to happen -- bad."

Firefighters are still investigating the cause -- but believe it could be linked to a generator malfunction.

At 5:30 Saturday evening, Buffalo firefighters say they responded to another blaze at a funeral home just down the street on Bailey Avenue. At least one firefighter from that blaze was taken to ECMC with injuries.