Buffalo Fire Department pictures of Lt. Charles “Chip” McCarthy & Firefighter Jonathan Croom via The Buffalo News.
Autopsy results say the firefighters died from smoke inhalation. Investigators are still looking into what caused the fire.
After searching for three days, fire investigators say they are confident there is no one to recover from the remains of the Super Speedy Deli where two Buffalo firefighters died early Monday morning.
This, despite reports there was someone trapped inside and witnesses who say they heard someone yell for help.
“I don’t know what to think because as I said we had very credible reports. That doesn’t mean there weren’t screams from somewhere,” Fire Commission Mike Lombardo said.
The deli was knocked down, and every inch of debris sifted through. Lombardo told reporters investigators did such a thorough job, they found two other firefighters helmets and a sledgehammer-like tool used by Firefighter Croom.
The 3-alarm fire started just after 4:00 AM Monday morning in a deli on the corner of Bailey Avenue and Genesee Street. The initial calls indicated there was someone in the building, banging on the wall and calling for help.
“If it turns out no one was in there, it doesn’t diminish one bit what they did or their sacrifice of what they did,” Lombardo said.”
Lombardo says he still does not know what caused the fire, only that it began in the basement of the building. He would not say whether his fire marshals thought the blaze looked suspicious. Investigators also brought in a dog to sniff for accelerant. It’s unclear if the canine detected any.