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House Explosion in North Buffalo

BPD: Explosion intentionally set-off, no serious injuries

April 19, 2018 - 8:51 pm

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Buffalo Police and Fire responded to reports of a home explosion at 36 Covington in North Buffalo at around 7pm Thursday night.  When firefighters arrived on scene, the initial home structure was fully involved and destroyed and fire had spread to two neighboring homes.

Santo Coke, 73, was not seriously injured and was taken into Buffalo Police custody after the blast. Coke is charged with three counts of arson, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment. He was arraigned late-Friday night at the hospital.

"It appears that this person had intentionally attempted to blow the house up in an attempt to commit suicide," said Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo. 

No other injuries resulted from the explosion. 

"It's a blessing that nobody else was injured at this point," said Rinaldo.

Buffalo Fire Commander Jim Otwell said that police believe it was a gas explosion.  A followup investigation will confirm the cause of the blast.  "The house where the explosion occurred is basically on the ground right now", said Otwell. 

The Red Cross is assisting the residents of the two neighboring homes, 32 and 40 Covington, that were seriously damaged.

An emergency demolition will likely be ordered for the initial home involved in the explosion.


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