by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
Photos by Kerry Lanthier
At 8:19 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, Grand Island firefighters responded to a reported structure fire at the Palumbo residence on Broadway. The owner's 34-year-old son discovered smoke in the second floor bedroom area and immediately called the Grand Island Fire Co. for assistance and escaped from the building with two other family members.
Fire Chief Matt Osinski reports that "heavy smoke" was encountered when engines Nos. 2, 3, and 4, ladder truck 6 and fire suppression crews began to arrive on location. The interior fire was then attacked from below and above when the roof was cut open for ventilation. The fire was brought under control within 40 minutes.
GIFC fire investigators Chuck Berlinger, Mike DeMartin and their counterparts from the Erie County Sheriff's Office later determined that the fire originated in the kneehole space on the second floor and is considered accidental. Total damage was estimated at $50,000 to structure and $30,000 to the contents.
Mutual aid assistance was received from the Sheridan Park and Kenmore volunteer fire departments.
There were no injuries to family members or firefighters.
Meanwhile, the Palumbo family has obtained temporary housing at a local hotel. Amy Palumbo stated that "the firefighters were great and were there within minutes" to help them.
All participating units returned to service by 11:18 p.m. after an extensive overall was completed.