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One person missing, three hospitalized from Elmwood Avenue fire

Thomas O'Neil-White/WBFO News

One person remains unaccounted for following an overnight fire on Elmwood Avenue. The three-alarm blaze started just before 2:30 a.m. at 1074 Elmwood Avenue. Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo says following a rescue operation, the three-story building had to be evacuated and demolished after the fire spread quickly.

"The primary search had to be suspended pretty quickly because the home quickly was engulfed in flames," Renaldo said at a Wednesday morning news briefing. "We had to have an emergency evacuation and back all of our people out."

Five people lived in the building. Three were taken to ECMC for burns and smoke inhalation, including one resident who was rescued from the building's second floor. One resident was not home at the time and one remains missing. The fire department has brought cadaver dogs from the Erie County Sheriff's Office to the scene to search for the missing person.

In an update provided Wednesday afternoon, a city spokesman said two 60-year-old men are in critical condition at ECMC and a 40-year-old man is in stable condition.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but it is believed to have started on the second floor. Damage is estimated at $450,000. Two adjacent buildings also sustained damage, totaling $160,000.

Elmwood Avenue was closed between Forest and Bird avenues for much of the day. It reopened just before 4 p.m.

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Ryan Zunner joined WBFO in the summer of 2018 as an intern, before working his way up to reporter the following summer.