Updated 01/24/2013 09:20 PM
Woman and two children rescued from burning house
Several families are being assisted after a fire Thursday afternoon in the city of Buffalo. The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. on Reservation Street. YNN's Katie Cummings reports that witnesses said they saw a woman with two babies being rescued from a second floor window.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — "She was banging on the window and I was telling her, open it, open it," said Donna O'Neil, a neighbor.
Neighbors gathered outside 78 Reservation Street on Thursday afternoon after noticing a fire at the house. They noticed a woman from the second floor crying out for help.
"It was one of the most frightening sights I've seen. I mean, I have my handyman working across the street, they ran there tried to climb up to the porch before the fire department came there. It's slippery, it's snowy and they couldn't get them. I mean, our hearts were in our throats every second over there until they got the kids out," said Ben Okonov, a witness.
"We started screaming upstairs and there was a lady and two babies up there," said O'Neil.
Fire officials said they are still investigating but say it appears residents were attempting to thaw the pipes. The fire department said crews have responded to several similar incidents since temperatures have dropped.
"They try to thaw them out with propane heaters or something like that and obviously, it's in a crawl space or places that are hard to get to, so they start them on fire and don't realize it," said Don McFeely, Buffalo Fire Department Division Chief.
Fire officials say the fire started in the basement and spread quickly to the attic, causing about $100,000 in damage.
While the eight people living inside the home may have lost prized possessions, the husband of the rescued woman, Myomin Tun, says his were saved.
"The most important things are my sons and my wife. They already came up from the firefighter help. They get help and they already came up from the house and I'm really happy for that. They are my life," said Tun.
All of the occupants managed to get out safely. They are all being assisted by the Red Cross.
One firefighter was injured after falling down a flight of stairs and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.