An explosion late Monday afternoon in the apartment above a Black Rock deli brought several Buffalo fire companies to the scene and closed Niagara Street to traffic for nearly an hour.
Buffalo firefighters were called to Doyle’s Foods, 1981 Niagara St., shortly after 5 p.m. for the report of an explosion in the second-floor apartment and found a small fire, which was quickly extinguished, said Division Chief Michael Biasillo.
“There’s really not a lot of damage,” he said. “It could have been a whole lot worse, though.”
The report initially came in as a propane tank explosion, so extra companies and a Hazmat team were called to duty, but Biasillo said those reports turned out to be unfounded.
“We’re pretty sure it wasn’t propane,” he said. “We’re not sure what it is. Our fire investigators are checking it out.”
The apartment’s occupant, who was outside at the time, was treated at the scene for a minor leg laceration. No other injuries were reported.
Among the crowd that gathered at the intersection of Niagara Street and Austin Street was Lisa Zucarelli, who said she was cooking a bacon cheeseburger on a grill in Doyle’s when she heard and felt the explosion upstairs. An air-conditioning unit dislodged by the force of the blast fell past her front window.
“Our driver came running in, ‘Get out! Get out! There’s been an explosion,’” she said.
Staff and customers ran outside and found shards of glass on the ground and smoke billowing from the upstairs windows, which had been blown out, she said.
They were grateful to be safe.
“I am very glad,” she said. “I am very glad, very grateful. Thank you. Thank you. We’re all safe. That’s the main thing.”