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August 26, 2009 - 8:25am

Vacant house on Batavia-Elba Townline Road destroyed in early morning fire

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, fire.

batava_elba_fire01.jpg

We received an e-mail reporting a working fire on Batavia-Elba Townline Road between State Street and Norton Road at 4:14 a.m.

Later, we received this picture from a volunteer at the scene.  I'll post more information about the fire as soon as I get it.

UPDATE 8:58 a.m.: The wife of a firefighter e-mailed this to us:

An Abandoned house was on fire in Elba this morning around 3:30am on  Batavia-Elba townline rd! They put it out around 5am! My husband just came  home from it and said they were waiting for someone to come knock it down to  the ground! Elba Oakfield S.Byron and town of batavia fire dept were called  and Barre was on stand by in Elbas hall.

UPDATE 9:12 a.m.: From a report filed by the Sheriff's Office:

The fire was reported at 3:17 a.m. at 4681 Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Elba. The house was vacant and owned by Ron Green, of 4975 Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Elba. The fire originated on the first floor or basement on the northeast corner.  The house was a total loss and uninsured. The cause is unknown.  Fire departments responding: Elba, Town of Batavia, Oakfield, South Byron, Byron, Albabam and Albion.

UPDATE 9:32 a.m.: Just spoke with Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County. He said the cause remains under investigation, but that the house still had electricity and water running to it, so investigators will probably be looking most closely at the possibility that it was an electrical fire.  There is nothing suspicious about the fire at this time, he said. The house is still smoldering, but it was burnt completely to the ground.  He said it's believed the house had been in an abandoned state for two months.

NOTE: We received this video this morning, but for some reason, it took YouTube a long time to process it. It's from a cellphone camera, presumably from a volunteer firefighter.

Gary Spencer
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"apparently destroyed" ?? Looks like it from this pic., I sure hope and pray that everybody is safe, it looks very bad from this shot!
Howard B. Owens
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Gary, I know it's silly, but what if this is only a side structure? I have no information at this time, so I used a hedge word rather than assume. I've got calls out seeking more information.
Robert Hunt
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Howard, It was a vacant house and well involved upon arrival. Town of Batavia, Oakfield, South Byron, and Barre assisted Elba at the scene. I believe Alabama filled in at Oakfield and Albion at Elba.
John Roach
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Howard, Here is a new subject to be discussed: Digital photography along with the internet. Never before could a picture like this be in the news so fast. From cell phones to regular digital cameras, this has changed things.
Howard B. Owens
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John, locally, where we really saw it in full force was the Darien/Corfu tornado -- probably a half dozen different cell phone pictures and nearly as many videos surfaced, and I has numerous people show me the same pictures on their cell phones that were must being e-mailed and e-mailed from person to person.
Mandy Esten
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An engine and tanker from Elba and a tanker from Oakfield and the Town of Batavia is responding back to the scene of the fire for a rekindle! I guess its being stubborn and dont want to go out!!
Howard B. Owens
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Thanks for the update, Mandy. Billie and I were out in Le Roy and didn't hear that call.

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