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Two unaccounted for as fire guts two Niagara Falls homes, prompting all city firefighters to respond

Both homes declared a total loss
Posted at 5:07 AM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 15:12:20-04

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two people were unaccounted for after fire ripped through two homes overnight in Niagara Falls.

The flames broke out just after 3:30 a.m. Friday inside one of the two homes on Walnut Avenue, before spreading to the other. Both homes were destroyed.

All city firefighters were called to fight the fire.

The department said firefighters did not have to rescue anyone from either home. One man got out from one of the homes on his own. Firefighters were initially unsure whether the other home was unoccupied or abandoned.

But 7 Eyewitness News learned just before 6 a.m. from the fire battalion chief that two people were unaccounted for. The chief did say it's possible the two people were just not home.

The fire spread to a home located behind the two homes, causing some minor exposure damage. Crews were able to put those flames out.

Firefighters knocked on the doors of some neighboring homes. No one answered, so no one was evacuated.

As of 5:45 a.m. crews were still trying to extinguish the flames, including a utility pole that caught fire near a transformer. The fire caused the utility pole to break, but wires held it up.

The utility pole catching fire impacted the electrical grid. According to National Grid, it left 120 customers in the dark starting around 5 a.m. Power was expected to be restored by 7 a.m.

Other crews will be sent out to relieve the firefighters who initially responded to the fire. Members of the 914th Fire Department at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station provided mutual aid while city firefighters responded to the house fires.

Damage estimates were not immediately available and the cause will be investigated.

This breaking news story will be updated as new information comes in.