(AP) The Buffalo Fire Department will be honoring the memories of the five firefighters who died 30 years ago when a propane tank exploded inside a warehouse.
The powerful blast on the night of Dec. 27, 1983 leveled the four-story building and caused extensive damage in a neighborhood east of downtown Buffalo. The explosion also killed a 34-year-old man and fatally injured his mother,
Officials determined that the explosion was caused by an illegal 500-pound propane tank that leaked after being damaged.
<< At Left, the BFD's memorial Box 191 at North Division and Grovsvenor Streets.
Buffalo fire crews had arrived at the scene just before the tank exploded, killing five firefighters from Ladder 5. Nearly a dozen other firefighters were injured.
As it does each year, the fire department will pay tribute to the fallen members Friday night around the time of the explosion. The blast killed Firefighter Michael Austin, Firefighter Michael Catanzaro, Firefighter Matthew Colpoys, Firefighter James Lickfield and Firefighter Anthony Waszkielewicz in the department's worst single day.
Two civilians, Jessie and Alfred Arnold also died when their house was levelled by the blast.