Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


July 22, 2011 - 8:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Darien.

A garbage fire is reported on Broadway near Tinkham Road in Darien. Darien Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: The fire is said to be very small and not likely to "go anywhere." But Darien is responding to investigate.

July 22, 2011 - 7:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A high-tension power line has fallen down and is burning at 6888 Alleghany Road in Alabama. The location is north of the Judge Road intersection. Town of Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.: The high-tension wires are the responsibility of the New York Power Authority, which is being notified. About 300 yards of grass around the wires is on fire.

UPDATE 7:39 p.m.: The power authority has been informed and there's a representative en route. But he's coming from Lewiston so it will take time to get there. The Department of Environmental Conservation is being notified.

UPDATE 7:47 p.m.: Little can be done until the power is shut down. Firefighters on scene are ensuring the blaze does not spread to structures. No structures are threatened at this time. State forestry workers are available if needed since land under the power lines belongs to New York.

UPDATE 8 p.m.: A grass truck out of Akron and tankers from Pembroke and Indian Falls are requested as mutual aid to Alabama. The grass fire is described as large. It's behind the White Memorial State Game Farm.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: After researching the location, the state power authority says the power lines belong to National Grid. The state has contacted National Grid and a rep is being sent, but no ETA given.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Oakfield is to fill in at Alabama's hall. Another unit out of Niagara County is called in.

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: The high-tension lines are fully powered. A National Grid rep is in the area and still needs to figure out how to shut down power there. A supervisor is en route. Once they figure it out, one of them will coordinate duties with the fire officials. The shifting wind is proving to be somewhat problematic.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: A fire truck out of Shelby is requested.

UPDATE 8:43 p.m.: A grass truck out of East Pembroke is called.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: A tanker from Oakfield is called and so are fire police from East Pembroke to help with traffic control.

UPDATE 9:03 p.m.: National Grid has a 30-minute ETA. Tankers are filling up at Parkers Pond at Gordon and Judge roads.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: The chief says the fire has been extinguished on the northwest side of the site. They are heading up on the hill to concentrate their efforts on the other side. Grass under the power lines continues to burn because the electrictity has yet to be shut down by National Grid.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m.: The chief reports the fire is contained and the remainder consists of a 50-foot swath of land underneath the power lines. National Grid has not yet arrived.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: National Grid is on scene. The fire is under control and the scene is being turned over to them to handle.

July 22, 2011 - 7:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, fire, pembroke, indian falls, Boulder Park.

What's left of a once popular amusement park in Indian Falls was largely undamaged by a late evening fire along Phelps Road.

One small structure -- impossible to tell what it once was -- was charred while several structures remain, though largely overgrown by brush, vines and trees.

The causes of the fire, which was reported at 9:01 p.m., remains under investigation. 

The park, locally known as "Boulder Park," opened in 1949, the brainchild of Phil Morrot. Historians know it as "Morrot's Boulder."

While the park featured a miniature steam train and a Ferris wheel, the highlight of the park was reportedly its merry-go-round.

The carousel -- designed by Phil's sister, Emily Bourgard, and built by the Herschell Company -- was a menagerie of animals, including 32 horses, a lion, tigers and a giraffe.

The park was sold in the 1960s, fell into disrepair and was closed by 1970, at which time the animals of the carousel apparently went missing.

An Indian Falls resident, Cindy Henning Hanks, published a book in 2003 about the carousel and what happened to the animals. She's been able to track what happened to all but three of the wooden, hand-carved beasts.

According to her website, the giraffe sold at auction a few years ago for $51,000.

According to a Sheriff's Office report, the property is currently owned by Kelkco, LLC, out of Clarence Center.

The fire is being investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Pictures below were taken today.

July 22, 2011 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A large cloud of black smoke is reported in the area of 13762 Sky Road in Alabama. It's off the road and in the woods. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 1:32 p.m.: Alabama reports it is a large controlled burn on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The firefighters are returning to service.

July 22, 2011 - 10:25am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A car was on fire in the parking lot of Sport of Kings restaurant, 419 W. Main St. in Batavia. The city fire department was responding but the flames were knocked down by a passerby with a fire extinguisher. The fire truck is back in service. Police are on scene.

July 22, 2011 - 1:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire.

Basic elements -- wind, water and fire -- were all critical factors in a blaze that destroyed a 160-year-old barn on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road on Thursday afternoon.

The Elba fire was called in at 4:15 p.m. and the first Town of Batavia chief on scene reported only smoke coming from the barn.

Two minutes later, flames began shooting out the front door of the barn and within another minute they covered nearly a quarter of the roof. Even a quick response by a group of Genesee County volunteer fire departments couldn't beat the windswept flames from engulfing the front barn of Post Farms and spreading to a second attached barn.

Complicating matters for firefighters was the lack of public water on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. 

Eventually, Elba Fire Chief Brian Russell would request every single tanker from all 17 fire departments in Genesee County to the scene along with tankers from Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties, not to mention a couple of milk trucks drafted into duty to bring water from nearby ponds.

"When you’re flowing this much water on a barn fire you just go through water really quick," Russell said. "It just takes time to fill up the trucks and bring them back in."

In temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees and humidity that raised the heat index above 100, water was also essential to firefighter safety. First, Elba's auxiliary brought in refreshments and then the Salvation Army set up a rest and recovery station. A portable pool was also set up that firefighters could get in as a way to cool off.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene. The large contingent helped ensure crews could remain fresh.

"You’re wearing a lot of equipment and a lot of gear," Russell said. "It doesn’t take long for a body to get overheated."

Russell was grateful for the mutual aid from more than 20 departments throughout the region.

"Mutual aid is key in any situation like this, from manpower, the other trucks, water, you’ve just got to have the other departments responding," Russell said.

A Sheriff's Office investigation concluded that the fire started by exhaust from a skid loader in one of the barns.

The barn was full of hay and straw, which complicated firefighting efforts even further.

The barns are part of Post Farms, a dairy farm. The second attached barn contained calves. They were all evacuated safely. No livestock was hurt as a result of the fire.

One firefighter suffered a minor case of heat exhaustion and was taken by Mercy EMS to UMMC. He is reportedly fine.

The Post Farm has been in the family since the 1890s, when Stu Post acquired it. It's currently owned by Jeff Post.

His grandmother, Louise Post, spoke with reporters and the family is devastated by the loss of the barns and the contents.

"I think they are all very sorry to have this happen, not only the ones who work here, but the remainder of the family," Louise said.

"We lost a lot of history and a lot of product," she added.

While the fire was in progress, neighbors complained about the water situation on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. The fire, they said, is exactly why either the Town of Batavia or the Town of Elba needs to bring public water to the road.

Plus, the well water on the road is undrinkable.

Douglas Clark and his wife said they've been drinking nothing but bottled water for 15 years, and when farmers are spreading manure, their bathing water smells pretty bad.

"I also work with these farmers and I support these farmers, so what am I supposed to do?" Douglas said. "The town ought to put water right down this road."

(Initial Report)

Below is a slide show of more than 60 photos from the fire. Click on the button in the lower right to expand to full screen mode. Pictures may be purchased by clicking here.

July 21, 2011 - 9:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke, indian falls.

A grass fire has been reported at the intersection of Route 77 and Phelps Road.

Indian Falls and Pembroke fire departments dispatched.

Newstead, standing in for one of the departments, standing down. Akron, standing in, is responding.

UPDATE 9:14 p.m.: Pembroke, Indian Falls, all available manpower requested to the scene. The location has been identified as "Boulder Park." There is a 30-by-50 foot area on fire several yards from a building.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m. "There are remains of a structure that is involved now." Also, law enforcement requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:18 p.m.: Corfu, returning from Elba, called the Indian Falls chief and asked if he needed a hand. One word answer: "Yes." Corfu fire in route.  

UPDATE 9:27 p.m.: Poles, rakes and a chainsaw needed to help clear a way to get to the structure. Lights being set up to illuminate the scene.

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.: Fire is out.

UPDATE 10:08 p.m.: Corfu back in service. Road reopened.

July 21, 2011 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Attica, fire, alexander, Bethany.

A pole fire is reported at the Skyline Resort at 10933 Darien-Alexander Townline Road in Alexander. The pole on fire is F59.

Attica firefighters are called since Alexander is responding to the barn fire in the Town of Batavia. Bethany is called to fill in at Alexander's hall.

UPDATE 4:38: The fire is out.

July 21, 2011 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, fire.

A barn fire is reported by the homeowner at 4103 Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics.

Smoke is showing and a second alarm is called.

UPDATE 4:17 p.m.: Units are also called from Elba, Oakfield, East Pembroke, Alabama and Corfu, which is standing in at Town of Batavia's hall.

UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: The location is just west of Pekin Road.

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.: This is a working fire, fully involved. "If you got somebody, roll," says the chief. National Grid is called in.

UPDATE 4:26 p.m.: Fire police are called to shut down the roadway.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: The site is determined to be in Elba's fire district and Elba is in charge of command.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: A tanker from South Byron is called in.

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: Tankers requested from Bergen, Stafford and Bethany.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: The Elba Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary is called to provide cold refreshments for the responders. A pumper tanker and all available manpower out of Barre is requested. There's no ETA for National Grid. A tanker from Clarendon is called in.

UPDATE 4:56 p.m.: A second ambulance is called in.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m.: "The firefighters are going to need more water on the back of the building or they're going to lose the milking parlor."

UPDATE 5 p.m.: "The platform is shutting down." The chief asks for a list of all tankers at the scene.

UPDATE 5:02 p.m.: Tankers are requested from Darien, Pavilion and Corfu. A tanker out of York is called to stand by in Pavilion. It's the Post barn.

UPDATE 5:07: Every tanker is Genesee County is at the scene, with the exception of tankers from Darien, Pembroke and Indian Falls. Now those three are called in, too.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: A grass truck from Byron is called in. Indian Falls was already on scene. A unit from East Shelby in Orleans County is going to stand in at the Oakfield hall. Any available tanker in Livingston and Wyoming counties is requested.

UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: It is confirmed that all electrical power to the barn has been cut.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: The chief wants Elba Highway Department contacted to bring a load of stone to the scene.

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: The barn is owned by Jeff Post, who is the fourth-generation family member to own it. The barn was built at the turn of the 20th Century by Leo Post. It is on a dairy farm. The barn was built around 1850. Stewart Post acquired the farm around 1890.

UPDATE 5:34 p.m.: Rescue manpower from Bergen and Albion requested to the scene.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: There are two barns on the property. Both are total losses.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Food and beverage for 75 to 100 firefighters are requested.

UPDATE 5:42 p.m.: A third ambulance is called in, non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Inmates from Wyoming Correctional Facility are being assembled for transport to the scene to help out. The Salvation Army is expected to the scene in about 40 minutes, presumably to help the auxiliary provide food and beverages.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Some Town of Batavia units returning. All out-of-county tankers released. In-county tankers to remain on scene.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m.: Elba command breaking down.

UPDATE 10:05 p.m.: Somebody just stole a pickup truck belonging to a fire police volunteer who was stationed at Pekin and Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. The truck, which has fire police lights on it, was last seen heading east on Batavia-Elba.

UPDATE 10:13 p.m.: The truck has been returned. "The guy thought it was his brother's truck."

UPDATE 10:26 p.m.: All units back in service.

July 18, 2011 - 6:23am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A possible house fire is reported at 7463 Town Line Road in Bergen. Bergen and Le Roy fire departments are responding along with Mercy EMS. The location is between Pocock and Jerico roads.

UPDATE (6:27 a.m.): There is smoke showing. It is a vacant house. Churchville Fire Department is also responding. Brockport is asked to fill in in Bergen.

UPDATE (6:36 a.m.): "May Day! May Day! May Day! There's a guy in the basement!" says a firefighter on scene. The fire is in the basement. "One of the subjects fell in through the floor." Route 262 between Jerico and West Bergen roads will be shut down. Now the person is out of the basement.

UPDATE (6:45 a.m.): The fire is knocked down.

UPDATE (7:05 a.m.): The fire is out, checking for extensions.

UPDATE 8:52 a.m. (by Howard): The fire is suspicious in nature and is under investigation. The volunteer firefighter who fell was not injured. The last couple of steps going into the basement gave way, causing him to fall and a ladder was used to get him out. The house has been vacant for about two years. It has no electricity or gas.

View Larger Map

July 17, 2011 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bank Street, fire.

A caller on Tracy Avenue reported smoke behind a house on Bank Street and City Fire has responded to investigation.

It was possibly an unintended fire, such as a controlled burn.

The address originally reported was 154 Bank St.. A first responder reports the fire is behind 148 Bank St.

UPDATE 4:03 p.m.: Fire's out. City Fire back in service.

View Larger Map

July 17, 2011 - 12:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion.

Callers reported seeing smoke in the area of 7450 Boyd Road, Covington, and Pavilion chiefs responded to investigate. Upon approach, they spotted a large column of smoke and an orange glow. Once on scene, the first chief confirmed it is a fully involved garage fire.

The fire has spread to the house.

Besides Pavilion, Alexander, Le Roy and Stafford are responding along with the City of Batavia Fast Team. Mutual aid is also requested from departments in Wyoming County.

UPDATE 12:22 a.m.: City of Batavia's Fourth Platoon requested to stand by at the fire hall.

UPDATE 12:44 a.m.: The fire is pretty much knocked down. Crews checking for extensions and interior firefighters preparing to enter. It is believed all occupants are out.

UPDATE 12:50 a.m.: Red Cross requested to the scene to assist two adults.

View Larger Map

July 16, 2011 - 11:25am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, town of batavia.

The engine compartment of an RV is on fire on the eastbound Thruway and Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding. The location is mile marker 388.7 by the Bank Street overpass. State Troopers are on scene.

UPDATE 11:31 a.m.: The RV fire is fully involved. Both water and foam will be used to put it out.

UPDATE 11:40 a.m.: The fire is knocked down.

UPDATE 12:22 p.m.: The Town of Batavia assignment is back in service.

July 15, 2011 - 9:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, fire.

An unknown type fire is reported behind a residence at 45 Garibaldi Ave. in Oakfield. Town of Oakfield Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 9:22 p.m.: The fire is a small campfire. The chief said those having the fire should be reminded of the regulations. The caller to dispatch also expressed some concern as to whether the fire was on the owner's property. The fire is being extinguished and the property ownership is being determined.

UPDATE 9:32  p.m.: The fire is out. Oakfield returning to service.

July 15, 2011 - 8:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A fully involved car fire was reported at the Arrowhawk Gas Mart, located 852 Bloomingdale Road in Basom. Alabama Fire Department is on scene. The fire is now out. A person has suffered smoke inhalation and Mercy medics are en route.

July 15, 2011 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

Smoke is reported in the area of 7899 Route 98, north of Saile Drive. No flames are showing. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 3:44 p.m.: A small fire is reported in a field north of the farm there.

UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: The fire is out. It was determined to be "animal fecal matter." The chief said "It was probably caused by friction." Dispatch replied "Thank you, chief."

July 11, 2011 - 1:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire.

A large amount of smoke is reported in the area of 7427 Clinton St. Road. Bergen Fire Department is responding to investigate. It's coming from behind a truck parts business.

UPDATE 1:29 p.m.: The chief reports that the fire is visible from Dublin Road and Route 33. It is said to have started accidently. A grass truck from Le Roy and another one from Stafford are requested. The location is between Lyman Road and Maple Avenue, far back on the property at Demo's Truck Parts, Inc.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: Byron and South Byron fire departments are called to bring a tanker truck to the scene.

UPDATE 1:56 p.m.: The fire is out.

UPDATE 2:06 p.m.: Firefighters finishing up the work have asked for water and the ladies' auxiliary is going to bring it to them.

UPDATE 2:36 p.m.: Stafford was put back in service some time ago. Now Le Roy, Byron and South Byron fire departments are also back in service. The Department of Environmental Conservation is sending someone to investigate the situation.

July 9, 2011 - 8:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Darien.

Smoke is reportedly coming from the woods along the east side of Fargo Road, south of Reynolds Road, in Darien. Darien Volunteer Fire Department is responding. The caller said there was a large amount of black smoke pouring from the area.

UPDATE 8:42 p.m.: Firefighters on scene report that, at this time, the fire is deemed to be a controlled burn.

UPDATE 8:52 p.m.: It is a controlled burn and those responsible for it are putting it out. Darien fire is back in service.

July 9, 2011 - 8:47am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A controlled burn that may have spread is reported at 1046 Bloomingdale Road in Alabama. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

A live wire that is arcing is also reported there. National Grid has been notified. No ETA given.

UPDATE 9 a.m.: The fire chief says the situation is under control. National Grid is expected any minute now.

July 8, 2011 - 10:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A possible house fire is reported on Hutchins Street near South Jackson Street. A neighbor reports smoke is pouring from the roof. City fire department is responding.

UPDATE 10:17 p.m.: Firefighters on scene see fire and smoke coming from the area of 146 Hutchins St. Southwest winds at 1 mph. "It's a personal bonfire." City ladder truck 15 in service. Police who responded said the smoke was caused by juveniles at the site putting leaves on the fire. The bonfire is apparently legal.

UPDATE 10:32 p.m.: The people enjoying the bonfire put it out.


Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button