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Suspicious fire on Kermit under investigation

Posted at 1:15 AM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 07:19:00-05

Fire investigators are looking into what factors caused a car and nearby house to catch fire late Sunday.

It happened around 11 p.m. Sunday at 58 Kermit Avenue.  Firefighters were dispatched to the address to investigate a car fire.  When they were responding, a report of a house fire also was dispatched.

"When the first companies came on location they found the car fire and they also found heavy fire in the first floor inside the building," said Buffalo Fire Division Chief Michael Tuberdyke.

Three people were inside the home at the time and needed to be rescued from the second floor.  Firefighters placed ladders to a second floor window and assisted the residents down.   They suffered from some smoke inhalation, but they did not go to the hospital.  The Red Cross will be providing assistance to the residents.

Tuberdyke said that both fires are related, but if does not appear the one fire caused the other.  Fire investigators came across evidence inside the home that they will taking a closer look at.

Neighbors tell 7 Eyewitness News that they have seen drug activity at the home in that past and have reported the address to the police and to Councilman Fontana's office.  7 Eyewitness News could not verify their claims during the overnight hours, but we did see an increased police presence at the fire, including a high ranking police official. This is something not normally seen at a fire scene.

Tuberdyke would not comment as to what was found inside the home, only saying its under investigation by the Buffalo Fire Marshals.

Damage to the home is estimated at $85,000.