Collyer Mansion: Buffalo

Cluttered conditions slowed the progress of Buffalo firefighters at this afternoon fire.

Buffalo firefighters were dispatched to a house fire on Minton Street Monday afternoon. An additional report of the dwelling being occupied brought in one extra engine company and ladder company. The initial on scene report described a 2-story dwelling with fire in the rear of the first floor.

Video courtesy of Don Murtha and Erie County Fire Wire.
STATter911: Video and Audio. 2-Alarm Fire In Buffalo

Video courtesy of WIVB.

Photo courtesy of

Fire conditions continued to worsen, no doubt due to reported prior indiscriminate ventilation by civilians, and began to threaten an exposure. The balance of the second alarm assignment was called to the fireground. The interior attack was delayed due to reports of clutter inside the dwelling. Firefighters encountered materials “waist high” in the home and had to remove material during the attack. No one was home during the fire and there were no reported firefighter injuries.
“Cluttered Home Makes Fighting Fire Difficult”, WIVB

Catching you up on other hoarding fire news, A D.C. woman died in her Northwest apartment during the last week of December. Firefighters encountered large amounts of clutter inside the apartment at 1731 S Street, NW.
“D.C. Woman Dies In NW Apartment Fire”, Washington Post

A 20-year old California man was killed and two other persons hurt in a trailer fire with cluttered conditions. “When fire crews tried to get inside to make the rescue, they were blocked by boxes. “Everything she collected. It was stacked from floor to ceiling,” Hart said. Firefighters spent the morning clearing debris out of the house. They say there was so much stuff inside, it blocked entry ways and made fighting this fire extremely difficult.”
“Hoarding Poses Challenges For Rescuers in Fatal Fire”, KSBY

Clutter is listed as having contributed to the death of a Billings, Montana man during an apartment fire. Firefighters were immediately faced with difficulties as soon as they began forcing entry into the apartment. “”First, the door was locked. Once they did get the door unlocked, they couldn’t push it open because of all the debris, the clutter or whatever, blocking the door so they had to take more time to actually take the door off the frame,” explained Assistant Fire Marshall Bill Tatum.”
“Clutter Causes Hazards For Emergency Responders”, KULR

Find more about hoarding, pack rats and Collyer mansion fires here at Backstep Firefighter

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