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Five adults were given emergency housing assistance by the Red Cross after they were forced to flee a fire in their home on Downing Street in South Buffalo early this morning.

There were no injuries in the blaze, which started at about 12:49 a.m. in the rear section of the 2½-story wood-frame home on the first block of Downing. Damage was estimated at $60,000.

The cause remains under investigation.

Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield Jr. said the first piece of equipment, a pumper truck, was on the scene four minutes after the call came in. He said that is better than the national average.

He said that was accomplished in spite of the fact that Engine 25, at Southside Parkway and Seneca Street, was out of service due to firemen being out sick for the shift.