5 firefighters injured in East Side fire

A firefighter was taken to Erie County Medical Center from a fire in a two-story house on Butler Avenue Thursday evening, according to dispatch reports.

Firefighters were called to 82 Butler Ave. at about 8:30 p.m. for a call of smoke shooting from the second floor of the house, according to radio dispatches.

An official at the scene made a "mayday" call about a firefighter reported "down" in the building's attic and requested assistance, according to dispatch reports.

The extent of the firefighter’s injuries was unknown late Thursday.

Buffalo Division Chief Paul Graham said five firefighters suffered injuries involving burns, mainly steam burns. He said they were all taken to ECMC. He had no information late Thursday on the severity.

Graham said there was intense heat. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

"They did a great job," Graham said of the firefighters.

The fire started on the second floor and spread to the attic, said.

Lydia Battle Moncrieft, 58, said she was in a downstairs bathroom getting ready for bed when neighbors who saw smoke banged on a door to get her out. She said she escaped the house with Jerome Owens, 64, a family friend who also lives there.

A third resident, Battle’s 21-year-old nephew, Alex Battle, lives in an upstairs apartment but was not home at the time.

Buffalo firefighters responded to a house fire at 82 Butler St. in Buffalo on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. The two residents at home at the time escaped after a neighbor banged on the door and let them know there was a fire in the attic. Lydia Battle Moncrieft, who lives in the house, escaped with a friend who also lives there. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Duane Battle, Lydia's brother, arrived at the scene after her sister evacuated and said he saw crews take one firefighter out on a stretcher.

"I’m not worried about our stuff. I’m worried about that fireman,” Alex Battle said.

The family stood outside in the cold late Thursday, watching firefighters work the scene.

Battle Moncrieft, dressed in pajamas and a parka, wept as her niece embraced her.

The fire, which started on the second floor and spread to the attic, caused $150,000 in damage to the building and $75,000 to its contents, according to dispatch reports. The cause was under investigation Thursday, according to the reports.