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Bethany

February 28, 2014 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany.

A chimney fire is reported at 5901 Broadway Road. Bethany Fire Department is responding. The location is between East and Transit roads.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Stafford fire is called to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.: Stafford is told to remain in quarters.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: Bethany command tells Stafford to stand down.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: The assignment is back in service.

February 21, 2014 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Stafford, Chamber Awards, Geneseean of the Year.

Metal can be molded, shaped and welded together so that it becomes something stronger.

So can the youth of our community.

In a manner of speaking, Tim Adams does both.

As owner of Adams Welding and Manufacturing in Stafford, Adams makes and repairs farm equipment and commercial products.

As a community member who grew up on a local farm, Adams remains deeply committed to 4H and donates hundreds of hours of his time each year to the organization.

Adams grew up in 4H and even after turning 19, he remained involved.

"You don't realize right away the impact 4H has on you and the values it instills in you until later on," Adams said. "It's not that you're out of 4H at 19 -- you don't realize at 19 all the values that you've taken from 4H until later on. This last year really hit home that without people who are willing to volunteer there's not going to be organizations like 4H."

This commitment to our community, both as a volunteer and a local business owner, is the reason Adams will receive a Geneseean of the Year Award from the Chamber of Commerce on Saturday night.

"I'm surprised to be getting the award," Adams said. "That's not why I did it. I didn't do it to get an award. I do what I do to help 4H. It's truly an honor to get it, but I never thought what I did was that much more than anybody does. I just did what I did to get it done."

The son of Mike and Debbie Adams, Tim grew up on their farm in East Bethany, where he developed an appreciation for farm equipment that is in good working order.

"I was pretty meticulous about it," he said.

At first, the Adams farm was a hog farm (later adding replacement heifers) and Tim got involved with the 4H Swine Club, where he met the late Ron Komer, whom he said was a big influence on his life and his view of leadership.

"He was always there to help you if you needed something," Adams said.

In high school, Adams was taking a class at BOCES and a classmate, Jake Pocock, asked him if he'd ever tried welding. He hadn't. Jake had him put on the protective gear and weld two pieces of metal together.

 "All it took was one stick rod and I was hooked," Adams said.

Two years of welding classes at BOCES and two years of more study at Alfred State and Adams had a career, and with his connections to the ag community in Genesee County, Adams had a place to start to build a business.

In early 2012, Tim Adams and his brother Scott (Adams Trucking) took a big step together for the growth of both of their businesses and built a shop in Stafford on Route 5.

Adams' involvement with 4H includes leading the Swine Club, conducting the tractor safety courses, serving on various committees and taking charge on some key fundraising efforts.

This past year, he helped organize -- with John Duyssen, Keith Carlson, Heather Weber -- the Swine Club's first pulled pork BBQ, which Adams believes is the most successful fundraiser in the history of Genesee County 4H.

This was also the first year the Swine Club sold a club pig at the County Fair's livestock sale.

Among the most cherished contributions Adams makes to 4H is teaching the tractor safety classes. He took his first class from Bob Mullen at age 14 and has been involved in tractor safety ever since.

He said it's such a critical class for farm kids and does a lot to prepare youngsters to help out around their family farms.

"Being involved in 4H teaches responsibility, it teaches community service, it teaches you to take responsibility for an animal and be accountable, and it teaches a lot of life skills," Adams said.

He is also a member of a welding trade association, the Farm Bureau and has helped raise money for Crossroads House.

All of this community involvement has inspired Scott Adams to get more involved.

"It's something to see somebody actually carrying off and pulling off as much effort as he does," said Scott Adams, who's chairing the fair committee this year. "He actually cares about what he does. He goes that extra mile to get something done. From what he does with 4H, he's got me more involved with the fair and the ag society. He's motivated me to get involved more in the community. It's an eye-opening experience that one person can make a difference."

Clearly, making a difference is important to Tim Adams. He wants to make a difference in lives of young people the way people like Komer and Mullen did with him. Maybe today's 4H members will remember what Tim Adams did for them.

"I hope they look back like I did 10 years after I was out and look back and say, 'Hey, he was helping make me the person I am today,' " Adams said. "I'm hoping that's what they'll say."

February 18, 2014 - 7:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

Accidents will happen. That certainly appeared to be the case last night at Suicide Corners after a tractor-trailer struck the home of Tom and Debbie Douglas.

The intersection has a reputation for being dangerous. But it appears that none of the factors sometimes attributed to the intersection contributed to last night's crash.

Suicide Corners is the intersection of East Road and Route 20 in Bethany.

A year ago, the Douglases were worried the state would take their home to build a roundabout to improve traffic safety at the intersection, but community pressure helped convince the DOT to scuttle the plan.

It's been at least five years since there has been an accident at the intersection and more than a decade since the last fatal accident there.

Tom Douglas thinks improved signs and lighting have helped make the intersection safer and DOT is planning to add more safety enhancements this summer.

There was a moment at about 3:30 a.m. when he thought, "here we go again."

"We were asleep and we heard a big bang," Douglas said. "It didn't sound like a car wreck and the house just shook a lot. I thought a tree had come down. It was windy last night. I looked out the window and I saw the car lights. I saw the driver looking under the truck, almost like he'd hit another car, so I yelled out to him and he said no. When I came downstairs it was like, 'wow! what a mess.' "

The truck knocked a hole in the living room wall, pushing a couch well into the room and sending debris flying.

Douglas said the driver was pulling an empty trailer. The south blowing wind had caused a great deal of snow to pile up on Route 20 on the hill west of the Douglas residence. The empty box, the wind and the snow caused the truck to jackknife. The truck actually hit the house at an angle, and with the impact of the cab, the trailer whipped around to the east, pulling the cab back toward Route 20.

Nobody was injured in the accident.

Top photo: Douglas explains what happened to his house when the truck hit it. Pictures below provided by Tom Douglas.

February 18, 2014 - 3:30am
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, accidents.

A tractor-trailer struck a house in Bethany at 1051 10515 East Road, at the intersection of Route 20. No injuries are reported. "Unknown circumstances." Bethany Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 3:44 a.m.: Firefighters are on scene. Command confirms the big rig struck the house and now is in the yard "well off the roadway." Road conditions at Suicide Corners are described has having a lot of drifting snow. "We're going to need a plow out here. We've got a large amount of snow covering the whole roadway." The Department of Transportation is notified about the need for plowing. A heavy wrecker is called to pull out the truck and, most likely, tow it away. The house that was hit is the 200-year-old home owned by the Douglas family. Last year, the DOT proposed putting a roundabout at the intesection to reduce the high number of accidents there. It would have required tearing down the house. Ultimately, residents' opposition convinced the DOT to drop the roundabout plans. In DOT studies going back to the 1990s, there have been 36 crashes at the intersection and three fatal accidents.

UPDATE: Last night, a responder estimated the damaged area on the structure to be about 10'X10'.

February 13, 2014 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, Bethany, Baskin Livestock.

Press release:

The Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors has announced the selection of Baskin Livestock as the 2013 Genesee County Conservation Farm of the Year. Baskin Livestock will be the honored guests of the District at the Celebrate Agriculture Dinner on March  22th at the Alexander Firemen’s Recreation Hall.  They will be formally presented with their award at that time.

Baskin Livestock is owned and operated by Bill Baskin and Susan Blackburn. Bill purchased the former James Hume Jr. Dairy Farm from Chester Ptak in 1992. Since that time, Bill and Susan have acquired several neighboring farms (John Gardner, 1996; James Hume – remainder, 2001; Kruszelnicki, 2001; Don Norton, 2005; Woodhouse, 2007; Ethel Cook, 2009) and now own a total of 1,748.66 acres in the towns of Alexander, Bethany and Batavia. Of that total 1,157 acres is cropland. Most of the cropland acreage is fenced for pasture. Little Tonawanda Creek runs through the farm. With only a few exceptions, livestock is fenced out of the stream channels. Baskin Livestock became a District Cooperator in January of 1993. They started working on a plan for grazing in 1995. A grazing plan was written by Art Hanson of Western New York Crop Management (WNYCMA) in April 2001. Baskin Livestock is a medium Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and has a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) completed by WNYCMA in July of 2002. Baskin Livestock is active in the Agricultural Environmental Management Program (AEM) .

They raise dairy replacement heifers, beef, and quarter horses. Recent conservation practices installed with district assistance include heavy use area protection (bedded pack), waste transfer system, roof runoff structure, compost facility, and waste storage facilities.  Baskin Livestock has one of the most extensive grazing (pasture) systems in the County.

February 10, 2014 - 12:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany, Stafford.

A tractor-trailer is on its side on Ellicott Street Road near Fargo Road. No injuries are reported but traffic is blocked. 

Traffic being shut down at East Road and at Texaco Town. 

Bethany and Stafford fire departments responding. Pavilion handling traffic at Texaco Town. 

It will be an hour before a heavy wrecker is on scene to right the truck.

February 9, 2014 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, Stafford, accidents.

A two-car accident is reported at Route 63 and Fargo Road. The occupants are conscious. There is entrapment. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding, along with mutual aid from Stafford for fire police and a rescue unit. Mercy Flight is not able to fly due to weather.

UPDATE 4:51 p.m.: An ambulance from Le Roy is requested to the scene.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: There are four victims.

UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: An ambulance from Byron is requested. It will be the fourth ambulance in.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: An ambulance from Alexander is requested to fill in at Bethany's fire hall.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m.: Two patients have been extricated.

UPDATE 5:20 p.m.: "Third patient extricated, one more to go."

UPDATE 5:27 p.m.: The fourth and final patient is extricated. So far, two ambulances are transporting patients to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 5:38 p.m.: Bethany is taking a patient to UMMC.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: A total of three patients went to Strong. Two flatbed tows are called. Traffic is backed up. Command says when it clears up a crew should respond ASAP to salt the road. Once that is done, they'll go in service, he says.

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: The roads are reopened. The Bethany assignment is back in service.

February 4, 2014 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, Bethany, Stafford.

With the sun out this morning, I went for a short drive out to the Bethany area thinking, "the sun before the storm."

Our previous winter storm watch has been upgraded to a warning and between tonight and tomorrow night, we could get up to 10 inches of snow.

Heading down Clipnock Road, I spotted a group of trainers working out harness racing horses.

Bottom picture, a broken barn door on Transit Road.

January 15, 2014 - 6:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A three-car, head-on accident is reported on Route 63 near East Road, Bethany.

Injuries are reportedly minor, with one person complaining of hip pain and another with a leg injury.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 6:28 a.m.: Traffic is being shut down at Transit and East roads.

UPDATE 6:33 a.m.: A deputy on scene says just two vehicles are involved.

UPDATE 6:58 a.m.: Patient number one has been extricated.

December 22, 2013 - 4:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, Bethany, Stafford.

More than 2,100 National Grid customers are without power and have been since about 2 a.m.

Freezing rain apparently caused some transformer issues.

The outage area is triangle-shaped with the western tip near Clinton Street Road just north of East Main Street and spreading east nearly to Le Roy with the northern boundary just north of the Thruway and southern edge running along Route 63 to East Bethany.

National Grid expects power to be restored by 5:30 a.m.

UPDATE 5:17 a.m.: Earlier this morning, the power outage affected 4,538 customers. And, emergency dispatchers are aware there are people in the county without power. No, they can't help you get your power restored. It's best to restrict calls to dispatchers in situations like this to actual emergencies or others calls for service.

UPDATE 5:50 a.m.: There are multiple reports throughout the county of wires down, wires arcing and flooded basements. Town of Batavia's chief has requested all available manpower to the two fire halls to be ready for new incoming calls.

UPDATE 10:35 a.m.: There are at least a dozen power outage areas in Genesee County. The two largest at the moment are in the Elba area, with 317 customers without power. Power has been out since 4:49 a.m. and a repair crew is not yet assigned to the outage. In Bergen, 1,060 customers are without power. The outage started at 7:04 a.m. and there's no ETA for repairs. Fire departments from throughout the county are still handling calls for power lines down, trees down and cellar pump details.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: The largest power outage reported in the county now is in the Byron area, 838 customers. Power reported out at 5:01 a.m. A repair crew is assigned. No ETA for repairs.

December 11, 2013 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A semi-truck driver hit an icy patch on Route 63 near Transit Road early Monday morning causing the truck to leave the roadway, strike a utility pole and overturn.

The driver, Benito A. Taveras Fernandez, 43, of North Bergen, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Taveras Fernandez was driving a 2004 Freightliner northbound at 3:42 a.m.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Matthew Fleming.

(Initial Report)

December 9, 2013 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Le Roy, Bethany.

Pamela Morrow, 53, of Linwood Road, Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. At 8:35 p.m., Sunday, Sheriff's Dispatch received reports of an erratic driver heading west on Route 5 through the City of Batavia. The car reportedly moved right several times and struck curbing. A witness reported the car turning left on Park Road about the time Sgt. Ron Meides was leaving the Sheriff's Office complex, though Meides did not see the vehicle. The car proceeded to the Batavia Downs parking lot where Meides located the car a short time later. Two witnesses told Meides that they had seen the car strike two parked vehicles before parking. Meides located Morrow inside Batavia Downs and brought her back to the car.

Frank Lynn Morrison, 32, of Bridge Road, Elba, is charged with sexual abuse, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Morrison is accused of subjecting a female child under age 14 to sexual contact. Morrison was jailed on $15,000 bail.

Lorraine Ellen Pillo, 48, of Summit Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Pillo is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Marion Jermaine Spivey, 31, of Elmhurst Place, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Spivey is accused of punching another person in the face while at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia at 6 p.m., Nov. 30.

Kevin J. Compton, 52, of Clipnock Road, East Bethany, is charged with resisting arrest and harassment, 2nd. Compton was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 4:56 p.m., Nov. 24. No further details released.

December 9, 2013 - 4:10am
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, Bethany, accidents.

A tractor-trailer accident is reported in Texaco Town. The driver is semiconscious and has an arm injury. He needs to be extricated. They need a small ladder to get up to the cab and pop the door open. The roadway is "extremely slick." Fuel is leaking; the product being hauled is unknown.

Sheriff's deputies are on scene along with Pavilion fire and Mercy medics. The junction of routes 20 and 63 will be closed; Bethany fire is asked to shut down southbound East Road at Route 63. As in several places in the county, highway maintenance crews are requested to salt the roads ... "It is nothing but a skating rink..."

December 6, 2013 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A driver reportedly over corrected after her passenger side tires left the roadway on Route 63 on Wednesday, leading to an accident that injured two people.

The accident was reported at 2:23 p.m. Wednesday in the area of 5647 Ellicott Street Road, Bethany.

Isabel E.Cicero, 86, of Main Street, Leicester, was driving a 2011 Mercury sedan east on Route 63 when her vehicle left the roadway.

Aaron M. Titus, 40, of Wyoming Road, Wyoming, was behind another vehicle in the eastbound lane.

The first vehicle was able to pull to the shoulder and avoid a collision with Cicero, but Titus apparently could not.

Neither Cicero nor Titus were seriously injured.

Cicero was issued a citation for alleged failure to move safely from lane.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Andrew Hale.

(Initial Report)

December 4, 2013 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 5647 Ellicott Street Road, Bethany.

Bethany and Stafford fire departments are both dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

There was initially a report of a vehicle fire, but the first responder says there is no fire and possibly only minor injuries.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: Pavilion Fire Police requested to Texaco Town to shut down traffic on Route 63.

UPDATE 3:41 p.m.: Route 63 was reopened about 20 minutes ago.

November 12, 2013 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, fire, Bethany, Baskin Livestock.

The Friday morning after a fire destroyed key components of the feed-making process at Baskin Livestock, one of Bill Baskin's newest hires walked into his office. He was certainly wondering if he still had a job starting Monday morning.

"I said, 'Joe,' " Baskin said, " 'Don't worry about it. Come here Monday. You've got a job.' "

Baskin hired two new workers last week and both, like his other 50 employees already on the Baskin payroll, all have jobs, he said. There will be no layoffs even though it will be months before the feed operation is fully operational again.

The feed portion of Baskin's business involves collecting waste from large bakeries operating throughout the Northeast, drying it (if it's not dry), separating it from packaging (if it's packaged) and grinding it into grain that can be used as feed for cows.

Baskin Livestock processes 1,500 tons of feed each week.

The company has hardly missed a beat since Thursday night's fire. Trucks keep bringing in waste product and Baskin has lined up agreements with three other similar operations to buy the waste Baskin collects and sell him back the finished feed, which he can then sell to his customers.

There's been some lost sales in the immediate aftermath of the fire, Baskin said, but the procurement side of the business has continued nonstop.

"Procurement is important because a place that is making cookies or donuts or cakes, if they can't get rid of their waste, they have to shut the plant down," Baskin said.

We may never know how the fire started.

The ignition point was somewhere in the area of the equipment that screens and separates material for feed.

"Was it in the fan, was it in the cyclone, was it in the compactor motor? I can't tell you, but that's where the fire started," Baskin said.

Ironically, Baskin was just four weeks from finishing the installation of new equipment that would have pretty muck taken the equipment where the fire started out of production.

"If that was the case (the new equipment in place), the part that failed, whatever part it was that failed, would not be in use," Baskin said.

Baskin hasn't sat down and totaled up the cost of the damage yet, he said, but it's probably approaching seven figures and could exceed a million dollars.

That doesn't count temporary lost sales and the big cut into profit margins while his feed is being processed in out-of-state plants.

The big unknown is how much damage the main building, the warehouse, sustained. It will take a battery of structural tests on the I-beams and foundation to determine if the building is still structurally sound.

"Our structural engineer who designed the building said it's all a function of how hot it got and how fast it cooled," Baskin said.

"You don't want to have a two-foot snowstorm," he added, "and have your roof sitting on your equipment."

The other irony of the fire, Baskin said, is it started in the screening area of the process, not with the burners.

The fire that severally damaged Baskin Livestock five years ago started in the burner and the current system is built with state-of-the-art fire-suppression technology.

If the burner detects even an errant spark it ejects the product being dryed onto a cement pad outside the building and the system is deluged with water.

"We've got so many safety features built in on the drying end because you figure you're running 1,400 or 1,500 degree burner to dry this feed, 25 million BTUs, with all kinds of opportunities for failure there, so everything is designed around that," Baskin said. "Then we've been running this (the screening area) for years without a problem and that's where the failure was."

Baskin had just climbed into bed when he got the call from an employee that there was a fire and when he and Susan looked out their window, they could see the glow.

Baskin jumped in his car and rushed to the plant. He immediately got an a skip loader and created a fire break in the warehouse, moving product on the floor away from the burners and the north side of the building to slow the opportunity for the fire to spread to those pieces of critical and expensive equipment.

When firefighters were on scene and had sufficient water supply, he implored them to fight an interior fight in the warehouse to keep the fire from spreading north, and the strategy appears to have worked.

Baskin is grateful for the support of so many people in the community, the close friends he and his wife, Susan Blackburn, have made in the 21 years they've lived here. He also praised the Bethany Fire Department in particular, but all of the departments that responded to the fire, for their hard work and dedication to their jobs.

Even his customers have set aside hard-nosed business negotiation to offer their support and express their desire to keep doing business with Baskin Livestock.

"The bakery people say we're glad you're OK because you're really important to us," Baskin said. "I've had customers say we can cut back a little bit but we really want to keep your product in our product flow. What can you so to help us get through until you're back full steam? It's gratifying that at the end, after you're done fighting over price, fighting over product, there's that kind of concern."

He's told his employees not to worry about their jobs, that Baskin Livestock will be a bigger and better company once the plant is fully functional again.

Baskin estimates the plant will be 75 percent operational by Christmas and up to 100 percent by March 1.

In an interview Monday, Bill Baskin was all business talking about his business, but when asked what was different or what was the same about this fire and the fire five years ago, Baskin said there was a key similarity between the two fires -- and this is when he got a tad emotional -- that nobody was hurt.

"I couldn't have been through it once, much less twice if anybody got hurt," Baskin said. "The rest of it can be replaced. It can be rebuilt and be bigger and better or whatever, but for me, that's the take home. Nobody got hurt."

Top photo: Bill Baskin, right, meeting with an insurance adjuster Monday afternoon.

Here's the slide show we published Friday morning of Thursday's fire:

November 8, 2013 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, fire, Bethany, Baskin Livestock.

There isn't much new to report from the overnight fire at Baskin Livestock in Bethany.  I was out to the property this afternoon and firefighters were on scene dealing with hotspots and flare-ups.

Bethany Fire Chief Jeff Fluker hadn't even been home since arriving on scene shortly after 11 p.m. last night. He started to leave early this morning and then there was a small fire that broke out in the cyclone (it separates packaging from discarded baked goods).

I interviewed Fluker, but my phone died in the middle of the conversation, so no direct quotes here, working off memory.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

The main structure is largely intact, but it's too soon to estimate the extent of the damage and how much of the feed-processing equipment was damaged, but some of it was damaged.

We spoke about the water supply, which was definitely a problem, but for a fire this size, he said, with three ladder trucks going, even a public water supply would have a hard time keeping up. It takes 10 tanker trucks to service one ladder truck.

November 8, 2013 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, St. Joe's, Baskin Livestock.

St. Joe's School in Batavia is organizing an assistance drive for the Baskin family following last night's massive fire at Baskin Livestock.

Electricity to the property was cut because of the fire and the school is primarily looking to make a food donation to the family, said Karen Green, principal of St. Joe's.

The daughter of Bill Baskin and Susan Blackburn attended St. Joe's.

“We are reaching out to the community to see if they can help  us in providing some food for the Baskin family," Green said. "They are without electricity, they have 100 50 employees, we would like to see if we can gather food together from area businesses and we will take them out to the Baskins around noon today.”

Green said volunteers from St. Joes would pick-up donations or donors could leave their contributions at St. Joe's at 2 Summit St. in Batavia. The school's phone number is (585) 343-6154.

Previously: Major fire causes severe damage to one of Genesee County's largest ag businesses

November 8, 2013 - 3:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, Bethany, Baskin Livestock.

A lack of public water along Creek Road, Town of Bethany, hampered firefighting efforts at Baskin Livestock on Thursday night after a barn fire was reported just before 11 p.m.

Bethany, Town of Batavia, Alexander and Pavilion fire departments all responded quickly after their fire tones sounded, but as the Baskin barn burned, most of the firefighters on scene could only watch while they waited for tankers to arrive and porta ponds to be erected.

Baskin is one of the largest ag-related employers in Genesee County, with more than 100 workers. The company specializes in converting waste baked goods into animal feed.

Owner Bill Baskin is popular in the local business community, beloved by his employees and was named 2011 Agriculture Business of the Year.

The fire appears to have started in a barn-like structure where trucks pull in to be loaded with feed.

The structure was completely destroyed.

While the fire spread into the adjoining production facility, it's unclear how much damage was done.

At one point during the fire fight, Baskin was pleading with fire chiefs to send in a hand-line crew through a doorway on the north side of the processing building.

"I know my building," he said. "You can save it if you send a crew in here."

It took some minutes, but crews were sent into the building through that door. The fire was pretty much stopped at that point.

Paul Kennedy, a former Dansville firefighter, was among the first people to see and report the fire. He and a friend had been out hunting when they saw the smoke.

"The heater between the two big buildings was on fire," Kennedy said. "It wasn't much at first, but it turned into something quick with the wind."

Minutes after Kennedy arrived on scene Baskin arrived, and Kennedy helped him pull trucks away from the building and close the doors on the back of the building.

Bethany Assistant Chief John Szymkowiak said a lack of water definitely played a role in making the fire harder to fight and contain.

"This fire had a big head start on us," Szymkowiak said.

This is the second major fire at Baskin Livestock in just about five years. In 2008, Baskin suffered a serious fire, but did rebuild.

Fire companies from five counties -- Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming and Monroe -- responded to the fire or provided fill-in support at local fire halls. All but three departments in Genesee County -- Alabama, Pemborke and Indian Falls -- responded to the fire scene.

Ladder trucks for the town and City of Batavia along with Le Roy helped fight the fire.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

UPDATE Friday 9:07 a.m.: Bethany Fire is dispatched to Baskin Livestock for a cyclone fire.

UPDATE 10:29 a.m.: The fire was put out about 20 minutes ago but they are still working on dousing some hot spots.

UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: Mutual aid is called from Town of Batavia Fire Department to assist Bethany in fighting a sawdust fire in the rafters of a structure.

UPDATE 11:40 a.m.: A tanker from Attica is called to respond.

UPDATE 11:52 a.m.: A tanker from Stafford is requested.

UPDATE 12 p.m.: Aid from Alexander is requested.

(Initial Report)

Bill Baskin pleading with firefighters to use a hand-line crew on the north side of the building.

Baskin, far right, and an employee showing a chief the situation inside a doorway on the northside of the building.

Perhaps one of the largest porta pond operations ever assembled for a fire in Genesee County.

November 7, 2013 - 11:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, Bethany.

A fully involved structure fire is reported at 9778 Creek Road in Bethany. Bethany and Town of Batavia fire departments are responding. It is near Putnam Road.

UPDATE 11:07 p.m.: Mutual aid is called from Byron, Alexander, Pavilion, Stafford, the City Fast Team, and others.

UPDATE 11:30 p.m.: Calls are out for East Pembroke, Le Roy, and Elba.

UPDATE 11:34 p.m.: A tanker from York is called to the scene and an engine from there to the Bethany hall, along with the same equipment from Caledonia. National Grid is notified about power lines at the site and there's a 15-20 minute ETA.

UPDATE 11:45 p.m.: The lack of public water is hampering the firefighting efforts at Baskin Farms and the main structure(s) on the property are in peril. South Byron is also on scene and National Grid has arrived.

UPDATE 12:24 a.m.: Oakfield is at Town of Batavia Fire Hall filling in. National Grid has cut all power to the grounds. A tanker out of Gainsville, Wyoming County, is called to the scene.

UPDATE 12:27 a.m.: The mandate -- more tankers, more water, more tankers, more water.

UPDATE 12:34 a.m.: Mutual aid from Perry Center is requested to fill in at Pavilion's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:36 a.m.: Equipment from Perry Barre is called to stand by in Elba.

UPDATE 12:38 a.m: Equipment from Clarendon is requested to fill in in Byron.

UPDATE 1:45 a.m. (by Howard): The fire is largely knocked down. A firefighter reports that there are no flames showing at this time. There's still lots of smoke. It's hard to say at this point how much of the main feed processing facility was saved.

UPDATE 2:12 a.m.: Bethany command reports the fire is out. Overhaul starting. Tankers will start breaking down.

UPDATE 2:26 a.m.: South Byron, the first company to be released from the scene.

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