Buffalo (NY) Fire Department’s Decision to Shelter-in-Place Questioned

The Buffalo (NY) Fire Department’s decision to have residents go indoors and shelter-in-place after a July fire at the Niagara Lubricant Fire is being questioned after disturbing air quality test results.

The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York collected samples after the fire that showed levels of Benzene ten times the limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a report from WKBW (

Erin Heaney, Executive Director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, raised concerns about the effectiveness of shelter-in-place under such circumstances, especially given Buffalo’s older housing stock, which might not effectively protect residents.

Residents also evidently expressed concerns about the fact that firefighters did not evacuate buildings after a subsequent fire at Goldman Titanium.

For more on these issues, read EVACUATING AT HAZ-MAT INCIDENTS.