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July 15, 2016 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, covington, Bethany, Pavilion, news.


The Bethany Fire Department was among area departments, including Wyoming, Attica and Pavilion, to respond to a report of a field fire at 10:11 a.m. in the Town of Covington. Traffic was closed on West Middlebury Road while firefighters battled the blaze cutting through a field of grass and hay.

Photos and information provided by Glenn Adams.



July 13, 2016 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, Harvester Center.


A grass fire is reported behind 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, which is the Harvester Center.

City fire is responding.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: There is a report of flames coming through the roof of U.S. Chrome. There is black smoke in the area.

UPDATE(s)(By Billie) 2:19 p.m.: The fire may be in a building or buildings behind GCASA; possibly 21-22 Masse Place. The city's first platoon is called to stand by in fire headquarters.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The fire is out. It did not get inside a structure. It was contained to grassy brush behind buildings on Masse Place.

UPDATE 2:34 p.m.: Tony Strollo, who works at Pinnacle Manufacturing Co. on Harvester Avenue, said he saw a grass fire about 12 square feet, and 12-feet high, approaching the building and he and plant manager Kelly Boyle used fire extinguishers to try and keep the blaze from reaching the building. "It was a big wall of fire," Strollo said. They went through seven extinguishers, keeping the flames at bay until the city fire crew could knock it down.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Pinnacle CEO Diana Kastenbaum said she's concerned about first responders' ability to access the area, which is overgrown with weeds, grass and shrubs. "I saw police had come down Main Street first and then I saw the fire trucks at the corner because they couldn't get in here. Nobody can really get to it. This area should be cleared. I just think this is very bad. You can see how dry the grass is and how hot it is today." She called the property owner posthaste and aims to get him to clear the brush and haul it away in the interest of public safety.

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: Chief at the scene, Capt. Craig Williams, says the initial investigation indicates sparks from Pinnacle Manufacturing Company's molten aluminum shop flew out open windows onto the grass, igniting the blaze.

UPDATE 5 p.m. (by Howard): Workers were able to see out the open windows and there were no people in the area, so cigarettes are not suspected. 

Because of the molten metal, firefighters had to be careful to keep water away from the building, setting up their lines to push the fire away from the structure. If water hits the molten aluminum it could potentially cause an explosion. Williams said firefighters were already well aware of that danger at this location. Williams said flames were at least 12 feet in the air and just a foot from the building when crews arrived.  

The biggest difficulty in fighting the fire was finding it. One truck went down Harvester and the other down Swan. Once they located the exact location, they were able to quickly put it out without damage to the structure. 

Code Enforcement Officer Ron Panek said the city will be looking at a possible code violation issue because of weeds exceeding 10 inches in height within 100 feet of the building. Kastenbaum said she has already placed a call to the property's owner raising her concerns.

The fire was in a pile of organic debris covering a mound of dirt. It covered about a 30 by 30 area, Williams said. 



July 12, 2016 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, byron, news.

A fast-moving field fire is reported in the area of Byron Holly Road and North Bergen Road, Byron.

There is reportedly fire equipment and a propane tank in the field.

Byron and South Byron dispatched.

Elba requested to the scene. Clarendon requested to the scene.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: The propane tank doesn't appear to be in any danger now.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Stafford's brush truck was requested and just arrived at the scene.

UPDATE 1:02 p.m.: Command reports the "fire is under control and out."

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Overhauling underway. Mercy rig called to firefighters' rehab area, 6332 Byron Holley Road. One lane of traffic is closed by law enforcement.

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: The assignment is back in service; all remaining units returning to quarters.

July 11, 2016 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Stafford, news.


Photo By Jim Burns.

A barn fire is reported in Stafford at 8225 Prole Road Extension. Stafford Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 5:18 p.m.: This was a garage fire next to a barn. Le Roy is requested to send one engine to stand by in Stafford's fire hall.

UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: The address is actually  8219 Prole Road Extension. Stafford firefighters are called to respond to a rekindle of this fire.

July 10, 2016 - 9:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A field fire is reported behind the former Gravel Pit on East Main Street Road, Town of Batavia.

The address is 5191 E. Main Street Road.

That's next property east of the Genesee Valley Ag Park.

Town of Batavia Fire Department responding.

UPDATE 10:02 p.m.: A resident on Haven Lane reported the possible fire. A chief is investigating.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m.: A responder reports, "the fire was visible from north Ag Park Road, leading into Cedar Street."

UPDATE 10:18 p.m.: The location is now given as 5056 E. Main Street Road, the Genesee County Fairgrounds. Stafford's tanker is requested to the scene, non-emergency.

July 9, 2016 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

There is a report of smoking coming out around the chimney at 16 Bank St., Batavia.

Maintenance crews tried putting it out but were unsuccessful.

City fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: Fire is out. Overhauling now.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m.: Code enforcement requested to the scene.

UPDATE 10:42 a.m.: First Platoon requested to headquarters.

July 9, 2016 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A possible structure fire is reported in an abandoned white building on West Main Street Road at Kelsey Road, Batavia.

There is smoke coming from the roof and through a window.

East Pembroke fire and Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

The fire is going to a second alarm.

UPDATE 10:19 a.m.: It's a BBQ. Town of Batavia response canceled; second alarm canceled.

July 7, 2016 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news oak field.

A porch fire is reported at 41 Farnsworth Ave. in Oakfield. Oakfield and Town of Batavia fire departments are dispatched.

July 2, 2016 - 9:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A tractor may have caught on fire between two barns, causing a barn fire at 8427 Gully Road, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire responding.

Pavilion and Stafford also dispatched. The city's Fast Team also dispatched.

UPDATE 9:34 p.m.: Units are being put back in service.

July 1, 2016 - 7:31am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A house fire is reported at 54 Hutchins St. Everybody is out of the house, according to a dispatcher. City firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 7:35 a.m.: Fire under control; checking for extensions.

Photos submitted by Frank Capuano.


June 27, 2016 - 7:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy, news.

A possible house fire is reported at 7785 Lake Road in Le Roy. The caller reports there was a small fire outside, on the side of the house, that is believed to be now out, but there is still visible smoke. Le Roy Fire Department is responding, along with mutual aid from Bergen fire.

UPDATE 7:42 p.m.: Chief on scene confirms fire inside the structure. Pavilion and Churchville fire departments are called to assist.

UPDATE 7:58 p.m.: Le Roy Engine #66 is returning to service.

June 16, 2016 - 4:40am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Oakfield, news.


(Submitted photos.)

Flames and smoke are reportedly showing from the front of a house at 4 Gibson St. Oakfield Fire Department is responding. It is said to have started in the garage and now involves the house, which has been evacuated.

UPDATE 4:46 a.m.: Chief on scene reports the fire is knocked down; checking for extensions. The location is between Maple and Bennett avenues.

UPDATE 4:54 a.m.: Alabama is asked to fill in at Oakfield's fire hall.

UPDATE 5:07 a.m.: Alabama is now at the scene, instead of on standby. Town of Batavia Fire Department is asked to provide interior firefighters to the scene.

UPDATE 5:09 a.m.: Elba is asked to fill in at Oakfield's fire hall.

UPDATE 10:08 a.m. (provided by WBTA): Oakfield command said four adults and two children got out of the house safely. The structure was heavily damaged as a result of the fire.

June 11, 2016 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia.

City fire is dispatched to Maple Street near Thorpe for a tree stump on fire in a yard.

June 4, 2016 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A barn fire is reported at Area 51 Motocross, 3323 Harloff Road, Batavia.

Smoke is showing.

East Pembroke fire and Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 4:08 p.m. Tankers requested from Alabama, Oakfield and Pembroke.

UPDATE 4:12 p.m.: Fire is out, checking for extensions.

June 2, 2016 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia.

A fire alarm has been tripped in the incinerator room of the Batavia Barracks of the New York State Police.

Town of Batavia Fire responding.

The location is 2525 West Saile Drive, Batavia.

UPDATE 11:43 a.m.: Chief on scene reports the building is evacuated.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Fire was in a paper shredder. It was contained to the shredder and is out. They're clearing smoke from the building.

June 2, 2016 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion.


Smoke is reported in the residence at 6259 Shepard Road, with a cross of Transit Road, Pavilion, after a possible lightning strike.

Pavilion fire and Le Roy's ladder truck are dispatched.

UPDATE 9:11 a.m.: This is now a possible structure fire with a second alarm. Requested to the scene are Bethany's tanker, an engine from Le Roy and a tanker from Stafford, with an engine to fill in at Pavilion's Fire Hall. Le Roy's ambulance also requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:14 a.m.: Perry Center, Perry, Wyoming and York also requested to the scene.

UPDATE(S) 9:23 a.m. (By Billie): This is now a working structure fire. The city's FAST team is called to the scene.

UPDATE 9:27 a.m.: The second platoon is requested to the city's fire headquarters.

UPDATE 9:29 a.m.: The homeowner is there and is an electrician employed by a power company and he already shut down power to the house so a response to the scene by National Grid will not be necessary, according to the scene commander.

UPDATE 9:34 a.m.: One engine from Bethany is called to stage in Texaco Town.

UPDATE 9:45 a.m.: Caledonia, which was just called to fill in at Le Roy's fire hall, is called to the scene along with Bethany. Bergen is called to fill in for Le Roy.

UPDATE 9:48 a.m.: Alexander's FAST team is called to the scene.

UPDATE 9:49 a.m.: Churchville is called to fill in at Bergen Le Roy; Elba is asked to fill in at Stafford. A second Alexander engine is called to the scene.

UPDATE 10:43 a.m.: The fire is under control. Command is starting to release some of the responding units.

May 22, 2016 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, thruway, news.

A brush fire reported along the Thruway in the area of mile marker 390, on the eastbound side.

Dispatchers say they've received numerous calls with size estimates ranging from two feet by two feet up to 20 feet wide.

East Pembroke fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:17 a.m.: A retired trooper who lives in the area has told dispatchers that the only thing he is seeing is a large tractor kicking up dust.

UPDATE 10:20 a.m.: A chief on scene says there was a small fire, but it's out. Somebody put it out with a fire extinguisher.

May 21, 2016 - 4:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news, State Street Road.

An autopsy conducted this morning on the twin 2-year-olds who died last night in a fire at 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, indicate the boys died of smoke inhalation.

The Sheriff's Office also announced investigators believe the children were home alone at the time.

Last night witnesses, including the landlord, said the mother is believed to have left the house to go to the store for milk.

The boys are identified as Michael J. Gard and Micah G. Gard. The name of the mother has not been released.

The fire was reported at 9:59 p.m. when a resident of the upstairs apartment returned home and saw smoke and flames coming from the rear of the structure.

The boys were in a first-floor bedroom at the back of the house.

The Sheriff's Office said deputies were the first on scene but were unable to enter the structure because of heat and flames.

Firefighters arrived soon afternoon, knocked back the fire quickly, and located the boys, who were already deceased. 

The cause of the fire has not been determined and the investigation is ongoing.

The investigation is being conducted by the Office of Emergency Management, Town of Batavia Fire Department and the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office reports that more information will be released as it becomes available.


May 21, 2016 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.


Richard Frazier places a cross with a bear and flowers next to a tree outside 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, where two little boys died in a fire last night.

Frazier, who has a 4-year-old daughter himself, doesn't know the family but said he was heartbroken by the tragedy.

"As a parent, I could not imagine what it would be like if something like this happened to my child," Frazier said. "It's just insane to think that we just live life every day, taking life for granted and at any point, it can all be done."

Investigators were on scene last night until nearly 4 a.m. and then went home to get some much-needed rest and to be able to return in the daylight. They started arriving again about noon. It will likely be several hours before their work is complete. Until this phase of the investigation is done, we're not likely to hear more about the potential cause of the fire and other circumstances surrounding last night's events.

The names of the children or mother have not yet been officially released.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: Investigators have less than an hours work to do, but sources on scene say it is unlikely there will be any announcement today about the cause.  There is more work to do away from the scene and that could take a couple of days.  There should be a press release coming out this afternoon from the Sheriff's Office that will contain names.

UPDATE: Press release from the American Red Cross:

Volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to a fire on State Street Road in Batavia early Saturday morning, providing immediate emergency assistance for two adults and two children. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed, and Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available to help with the emotional aspect of disaster. Those affected will meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan.

Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers Suzanne Kowalcyk and James McMoil responded to the scene of this fire. The Red Cross would like to express its sympathies to everyone affected by this tragedy.

May 21, 2016 - 3:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.


Two young children died in a house fire at 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, late Friday night, at a time when their mother was not home.

It's unclear if any adults were in the apartment at the time of the fire, said Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster, Sheriff's Office, which is leading the investigation into the fire.

The cause has yet to be determined, but it started in the bottom apartment in the back of the residence.

The bodies of the children, both age 2, were found in that same location.

Brewster said he couldn't say for sure if the mother left the children with an adult to supervise them, or if she left them alone while she went to the store.

"I don't know and we're going to get to the bottom of that," Brewster said. "That's why we're going to talk with the mother."

The mother was in no condition to be interviewed tonight, Brewster said.

The fire was reported just before 10 p.m. when the upstairs resident returned home and spotted the fire. He called 9-1-1.

Town of Batavia arrived on scene quickly and fire chiefs were told there was a possibility of people trapped in the residence, so Deputy Chief Dan Coffey said he quickly sounded a second alarm.

The back of the house was fully involved at that point. The first firefighters on scene made entry and located the deceased children.

Asked if the evidence was pointing toward a fire deliberately set or accidental, Brewster said investigators are leaning toward accidental.

"That's why we have fire service here, to investigate that," Brewster said. "Right now, I'm not sure. It doesn't look like anything other than that -- accidental -- that's why they are here and that's what their job is. They will go through and make a thorough investigation."

About 10 minutes after firefighters arrived on the scene, two women ran up to the house and had to be restrained as they tried to enter it. Over the course of the next half hour, more people arrived who seemed to be friends or family members and there were women wailing and yelling. Troopers, deputies and Batavia PD officers did their best to assist them.

The two apartments were occupied by members of the same family, and members of that family also lived in a neighboring house. At one point, neighbors thought three children died in the fire, but that third child was in the neighboring house, according to landlord Joe Burke.

"It's my understanding that the mother went out to get milk for her little kids," Burke said.

Yellow tape was put around the scene at one point during the night and criminal investigators were called in once the fire was out and entry was safe for them.

But both Coffey and Brewster said the appearance of a criminal investigation doesn't necessarily mean a crime is suspected.

"It's a crime scene until proven otherwise," Coffey said, who besides being a volunteer firefighter is a Batavia police officer. "Obviously, we have two fatalities, so we're erring on the side of cause. We're treating it as a crime until proven different, but that's not indicative of any sort of information that we know at this point. It is how we would normally handle a call like this."

The location is the same as a reported hit-and-run accident April 1 in which resident Brian Ace suffered injuries and had to be taken by Mercy Flight to an area hospital. Ace declined to press charges in that case.

Investigators, at this point, don't seem to believe there is any connection between that incident and the fire.

There were no fatal fires in the Town of Batavia Fire District from 2008 until this year. This is the second fatal fire for Town volunteers in less than a month. On April 30, a fire at a residence on Oak Orchard Road claimed the life of Roger Saile, age 90.

"Obviously, it's been a tough stretch for us," Coffey said. "This one, obviously, is going to hurt. Just two weeks ago, three weeks ago, we also had that other one, so we're going ot make sure that we take care of our members, but it's going to be a difficult time for us."











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