Eleven people forced from their Gaby Lane home by fire

Firefighters attend to a basement fire inside a Gaby Lane home on December 2nd. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Firefighters attend to a basement fire inside a Gaby Lane home on December 2nd. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – Emergency officials estimate that eleven people were displaced from a house fire early Sunday morning at 21 Gaby Lane in the South Line Fire District.

Town firefighters and mutual-aid companies from West Seneca, Lancaster, and Depew responded to the scene to fight a basement fire around 2:30 am.

“The dispatchers smartly took it upon themselves, when a little time elapsed, to start sending other companies to fill-in.  It all worked out,” said Bellevue Fire Chief Tony Filipski who was in charge of the fire.  “South Line’s engine got here fairly quick, and they were able to put a good knockdown on the fire, so it didn’t take off.”

The location of the fire in the basement made it a little tough for fire crews to get to the seat of the fire.

“The South Line crew has a problem with debris.  I guess there was a lot of stuff in the basement, so it hindered them getting to the fire.  They said there were several doors and rooms off of rooms – probably add-ons and additions made up,” added Mr. Filipski.

One firefighter was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.  He remained at the scene and went back to work.

Officials estimate a total of eleven people lived inside the duplex — three downstairs and eight upstairs.  Those eight are in the care of family members.  Temporary living arrangements were not imminently known Sunday morning.

The home sustained fire damage in the basement and smoke damage on the rest of the floors.  Some fire extended into a first-floor bedroom.

The Cheektowaga Police Department’s Fire Investigation Unit was called to the scene to investigate the cause and origin of the fire.

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