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Buffalo Investigators: Kilhoffer fire the work of arsonist

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 17:52:52-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Investigators now say a fire that erupted at a home, being transformed into a future community center, on Kilhoffer Street Tuesday evening was set on purpose. Buffalo fire officials say the fire was started by an apparent incendiary device.

"To leave a meeting discussing this house and the plans of the Barely Green Project and to come here and see this happen, it hurts. But we're better than that. We're going to make sure this community does not lose out on this opportunity," said Murray Holman, the Executive Director of the Stop the Violence Coalition.

The building was vacant, but was currently undergoing renovation by Buffalo Peacemakers and the Stop the Violence Coalition.

"There was going to be a skill park behind the house. We were going to maintain that. It was going to house a couple not for profit organizations as well. We were going to give resources back to this community. Now we have to start over," Holman said.

The center was set to open in June, but now the groups are back at square one. Holman said the new community center will be bigger and better than the original home destroyed by the fire.

Firefighters estimate the damage to be at $80,000. Exposure damage spread to the house next door, causing an estimated $75,000. Red Cross is helping two adults that occupied that building.

A firefighter who was taken to ECMC with injuries suffered during last night's fire has since been treated and released.