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BUFFALO – December 27th marks one of the darkest days for the Buffalo Fire Department in its history.

Five Firefighters were killed as well as two other people after an entire block was leveled thirty years ago.

To remember the five Buffalo Firefighters who died from a propane explosion that leveled a city block a radio call is made each year.

Tim Austin lost his brother.

"I was awoken from a sound sleep by the smell of smoke, the smell of fire," Austin said. "I instantly had a feeling this isn't good."

He's left wondering what's changed.

"What is going to be different for those people responding, how are they going to be safer," Austin said.

"New equipment new sop's, how we respond to these types of things -- all of those things have changed now," Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield said.

The fire commissioner tells 2 on your side that new protocols give Firefighters prior knowledge of the situation.

"There's new reporting by the government as far as what's on your site, what type of materials is there, what's the location of those materials," Garnell said. "All of those things are available to first responders now."

30 years later.

"The lights were out on Eagle Street. It was pitch black, we were dodging two by fours and bricks in the street,"

But, tonight people remember Buffalo's bravest.

"You except the risk to go out in the street and potentially lay down your life any day you go to work. And these 5 men did this for decades. And that's what makes them heroes."

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