Tonawanda News — A fire broke out at a Raintree Island apartment building in the Town of Tonawanda on Wednesday morning, police and fire officials said.
Authorities were notified of the fire at 8:05 a.m. Town of Tonawanda police and the Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire company responded to the scene, located at 51 Raintree Island.
“The first crews on the scene saw smoke coming from the exhaust pipes on the roof,” Ellicott Creek Chief Dave DeMeester said. “The fire was in vacant apartments on the basement level and first floor.”
A nearby resident had called 911 after smelling smoke, but the fire had burned undetected for some time because no one was living in the two units, DeMeester said. The blaze was contained to the two apartments on the basement and first floor, but smoke rose to the second-floor unit, where a cat died from inhalation.
Firefighters were on the scene for three hours and battled the fire in the extreme cold. Temperatures hovered around zero degrees, but DeMeester said the cold did not effect the firefighters.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation, and an estimated damage cost was not available, police spokesman Capt. Joseph Carosi said in a statement.
The Red Cross was notified and responded to help those who were affected by the fire.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.