Residents displaced after West Side fire

West Side Fire Forces Dozens from Apartment

BUFFALO, NY - For Josiannie and Stephanie Diaz, Saturday's fire in the apartment building the sisters now live in was a tough way to start things off in their new neighborhood.

"We literally just moved here from a month ago," Stephanie said. "We were right, like right there next to the fire."

Buffalo firefighters say flames broke out in a third floor apartment of this building on Lafayette Avenue, by Barton Street -- the Diaz sisters say they were on the second floor.
 
"Her fiancee came in my room yelling wake up wake up there's a fire," Josiannie said.
 
"We were trying to figure out where it was coming from and the smoke started to get heavier, we couldn't really breathe, so we just took what we had we grabbed our cats, put them in a cage and ran outside." 
 
They found a bus standing by -- the NFTA provided several of them to help displaced residents.
 
"So we came over here to stay warm we were just taking turns to see what was going on that's when we figured out the fire was spreading it was just bad," Stephanie said.
 
The NFTA also provided transportation to a warming shelter at St. John's Grace Episcopal Church in Colonial Circle. There -- the Red Cross says it's providing food, water and cots for five of the about 60 residents forced out of their homes.  
 
"Our volunteers are going to meet individually with each one of those residents, each one of those families and assess what their needs are do they have another place to stay a place to go," said Jay Bonafede, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. "For the next few days or whatever it takes to make sure those immediate emergency needs are met."
 
For the Diaz sisters, their apartment was not destroyed in the fire and they say the fire department doesn't know when they'll be able to return home.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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