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Scary moments for firefighters during house fire Tuesday morning

Posted: 11:40 AM, Dec 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-20 18:15:02-05

The first floor collapsed during a house fire at 14 Normal Place while firefighters were inside Tuesday morning.

The Buffalo Fire Department issued a mayday after the collapse and did a head count of all firefighters. All firefighters have since been accounted for.

Division Chief, Peter Kertzie said a lot of household items on the first floor burned through to the basement. The chief said when vacant houses appear occupied and have clutter inside, it puts firefighters at risk of getting hurt. 

"The challenges are that the conditions are it's hard to maneuver around in there. Because people have to get in pulling a hose and the other people without a hose are searching for people. They search by feeling. When there is a lot of stuff in there they have to feel everything," Kertzie said. 

Firefighters believe someone either was moving in or moving out of the Norma Place house. 

Firefighters say the condition of a house is one of their biggest concerns when out on a call. That's why they try to keep a database on houses with hazardous conditions. 

The cause of the Norma Place fire is still under investigation.