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  1. #1
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    Default In Memorium: Buffalo Fire Department December 27, 1983

    F/F Michael Austin - Ladder 5
    F/F Michael Catanzaro - Ladder 5
    F/F Matthew Colpoys - Ladder 5
    F/F James Lickfield - Ladder 5
    F/F Anthony Waszkielewicz - Ladder 5
    As firefighters arrived at the scene of a reported propane leak in a three-story radiator warehouse, a massive explosion occurred, killing five firefighters instantly and injuring nine others, three of them critically. The force of the blast blew Ladder 5's tillered aerial 35 feet across the street into the front yard of a dwelling. Engine 1's pumper was also blown across the street with the captain and driver
    pinned in the cab with burning debris all around them. Engine 32's engine was blown up against a warehouse across a side street and covered
    with rubble. Two civilians were also killed and another 60 to 70 were injured. While operating at the rescue effort, another 19 firefighters were injured. The blast and ensuing fire ignited 14 residences and damaged as many as 130 buildings over a four block area. The explosion occurred when an employee was moving an illegal 500-lb. propane tank with a forklift truck and dropped it, breaking off a valve. The gas leaked out, found an ignition source, and the explosion occurred.


    Brothers - You will not be forgotten
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS


  2. #2
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    Here are some photos from that day.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  3. #3
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    May the Buffalo 5 rest in peace.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  4. #4
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    I was too young to attend the funeral service for the Buffalo 5, but I do remember my father attending. Half of Buffalo was shut down, FF in uniform for as far as the eye could see. Apparatus from many of the surrounding counties calling out of service to attend the funeral. It truely was a memorable experience for me. One I hope to never have to see again.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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