Sunday was a busy morning for emergency responders in eastern Niagara County dealing with three structure fires.
In the city, a three-family residence on Church Street was declared a loss while a Pine Street residence was saved. In the village of Middleport, a house fire forced a family out of their home temporarily. Responding agencies calculated $100,000 of property damage between the three residences.
Lockport firefighters were sent to 212 Church St. at 2:27 a.m. Sunday in response to a report indicating fire had erupted at the rear of a large, two-story, three-family residence. Upon arrival, firefighters determined that a second-story tenant was not accounted for and went into the burning house in search of the tenant.
The fire was quickly advancing and exterior crews attempting to fight it were "hampered" by low water pressure in the area, according to Fire Chief Patrick Brady. The situation was solved by crews tapping other fire hydrants in the area to supply enough water.
The tenant could not be located and firefighters became disoriented while trying to exit the structure, Brady said, but they still got out safely.
The building, which is valued at $70,500, was considered a loss and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Firefighters left Church Street at 7:36 a.m. and about a half-hour later, at 8:08 a.m., they were summoned to 201 Pine St. on a report of smoke coming from the second floor of that residence. A firefighting crew accessed the second floor and found flames at the door to the attic. Another crew found and put out a fire burning in the wall between the first and second floors.
None of the occupants of 201 Pine was injured but one firefighter reported an injury at the scene. Brady said the firefighter was fine and filed an injury report "to be on the safe side."
The property damage estimate at 201 Pine is $17,500 and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Brady said on Monday.
The fire chief noted that two fires breaking out in succession is not unusual.
"Absolutely it happens on occasion," he said. "We've even had two fires going on at once."
The timing of the Sunday fires resulted in a large contingent of firefighters responding to the second blaze, which was helpful, Brady added.
"They responded with an exceptional amount of support," he said.
Earlier Sunday, in Middleport, a house fire at 37 S. Vernon St. was reported at 2:22 a.m. According to Middleport Police Chief John Swick, American Red Cross was called to assist two adults and a child in finding shelter. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire, which inflicted an estimated $25,000 damage on the house, is under investigation.