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July 5, 2014 - 12:32am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A working structure is reported at 7993 8005 North Road in Le Roy. Le Roy, Stafford and Pavilion fire departments are responding along with the city's Fast Team.

UPDATE 12:33 a.m.: A responder on scene reports "there is an exposure problem with a propane tank." A "full assignment" from Caledonia is requested along with Bergen. City's first platoon is called to its headquarters to stand by. National Grid is called in.

UPDATE 12:36 a.m.: A crew from York is called to stand by in Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:93 a.m.: The location is just west of Conlon Road.

UPDATE 12:49 a.m.: Command tells responders to proceed to the scene from the east.

UPDATE 12:54 a.m.: A crew from the Town of Batavia is requested to stand by in Le Roy's fire hall. No word on status of the same request from York.

UPDATE 1:17 a.m.: The original address of the fire was an approximation provided by the caller. It is now reported to be 8005 North Road, which is east of Conlon Road, but just west of a creek.

UPDATE 1:20 a.m.: Crews from Alexander and Bethany are called.

UPDATE 1:24 a.m.: Elba and Darien fire departments requested to man tankers in their respective halls.

UPDATE 1:32 a.m.: Now a tanker from Oakfield is requested to fill in at Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 1:35 a.m.: Oakfield is asked to instead man a tanker at its own fire hall.

UPDATE 1:46 a.m.: Looking at the street view on Google Maps, the North Road location is right across the street from the north end of Conlon Road.

UPDATE 2:13 a.m.: According to the Town of Le Roy's 2014 final tax assessment database online, the property is owned by Gregory J. Luetticke-Archbell, who is involved in a lawsuit with two neighboring families regarding his Frost Ridge Campground summer concert series. The 2,512-square-foot house has five bedrooms, two baths, and sits on 9.73 acres. It was built in 1806 and was last purchased in May 2011 for $116,400.

UPDATE 2:45 a.m.: Here's what David Luetticke-Archbell told media at the scene:

“I’m so lucky. Oh God. We were about a block away and coming up the hill and we saw a little bit of flames and some smoke and then I realized there were fire trucks here – there were one or two – and I wasn’t sure what to think. I thought maybe it was a barn or something and then I looked up and there is our home with fire on it and it’s everything that we ever had. And it’s not there anymore and I don’t know what to say – watching them tear this thing down…

"When we moved out here, we scaled down to what we could fit in our RV and we came and there were very few personal effects, just the things that actually had meaning because they came from a parent or a grandparent or something. And there’s nothing left. Absolutely nothing. And I keep telling the kids that it’s going to be OK because we still have each other, but there’s nothing else left and it’s going to have to be enough."

They had been gone all day. When they got home, David said Greg kept calling for their dog, Sadie, to try and get her out. Greg wanted, and tried, to go inside to look for her but was stopped by a Le Roy police officer.

"...an officer said 'no you can't, it's too dangerous.' And he was right because about that time the front of the house – it exploded. I mean you would have thought there was a bomb in there or something. I mean you ... look at this. There’s nothing left. There’s like a frame."

Greg was transported to the hospital. He was visibly shaking at the time. He had a couple of heart attacks a few weeks ago and they took him to the hospital to keep an eye on him, David said, adding that the children's aunt is staying at camp and they will stay with her for "a week or two until we figure it out."

UPDATE 5 a.m.: Le Roy Fire Police told to open the roads back up.

July 4, 2014 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Bethany.

It was just a storage shed. Some straw. Some sawdust. Bedding for the animals on a farm started by Michael Adams and his family in 1979.

The family built that shed. The first one of the Adams Farm property. Talking to Michael Adams after fire reduced the structure to rubble, you could see those remembrances pass before the long gaze of his eyes.

“Everything here got built by my brother, my dad, myself, my kids, my wife, everybody that’s come along through here," Adams said. "We tried to do all the work ourselves." He paused. "I look at it and start thinking about the days we were building it and, know you. …What can you do?”

The fire at 5664 Little Canada Road, Bethany, was reported at just before 2:40 p.m., but by then it was already too late.

“We were fixing a hose in the shop and came out, just got done with it, sent the neighbor back home with it, our tenant actually, back home with the hose," Adams said. "Came around the corner and looked and seen black smoke coming out the one corner of the barn there and that’s when I called 9-1-1 and tried to get down there and see if there was anything I could do but I couldn’t even get near it. It was already hotter than hot, you know."

The Adams farm specializes in replacement heifers for dairy farms and has about 60 head of beef cattle. The farm also grows corn, soybeans and a little bit of hay, Adams said.

Bethany Assistant Chief Jeff Pietrzykowski, today's scene commander, was in the city when he got the dispatch for the fire. Pietrzykowski could see the smoke column all the way down Ellicott Street. He immediately put out a second alarm for Stafford Fire to respond as well.

The first firefighters on scene found flames leaping from the windows and the roof was already gone.

"Our top priority was keeping it from the other buildings," Pietrzykowski said. "There was heavy fire. It was almost on the ground when we got here, but we were worried it was going to spread."

With no public water in the area, tankers were needed to haul water from a nearby pond.

Mutual aid departments included Alexander, City of Batavia, Town of Batavia, Le Roy and Pavilion.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

"It’s just like everything else around here, probably way under-insured, you know," Adams said. "Maybe we can put something smaller up if possible, but just to store our bedding and whatnot -- for the cattle mostly, that’s what it’s used for."

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July 4, 2014 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany.

A barn fire is reported at 5664 Little Canada Road, Bethany. It was called in by the homeowner. It has already gone to the second alarm. Bethany Fire Department is responding. Howard, en route but still in the city, says "I can see it from here." Alexander is called to the scene and to fill in at Bethany's Fire Hall. The city's Fast Team is called along with the Town of Batavia, Le Roy, Stafford and Pavilion.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Command reports the burning structure is a metal pole barn and the fire will likely be contained to that structure.

UPDATE 2:47 p.m.: The first platoon is called to city fire headquarters.

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: The third platoon is called to stand by in city headquarters.

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: The location is between Fargo and Torrey roads.

UPDATE 3:32 p.m.: The fire still has small flames in a few areas and hot spots but appears to be under control, according to Howard at the scene. The area is still very smoky. The pole barn contained no equipment. It was used to store cattle feed and bedding. The operation there raises beef cattle and replacement heifers, plus corn, soybeans and some hay. A crew from Wyoming Correctional Facility will be arriving sometime in the next hour or so to help out.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: Howard interviewed the farmer, Michael Adams, who runs the operation along with his wife, Noreen, and their children. They've owned the property since 1978. It's a little over 500 acres on what was once all corn fields. Of this afternoon's blaze, which totaled the barn built in 1979, Michael said:

“We were fixing a hose in the shop and came out, just got done with it, sent the neighbor back home with it, our tenant actually, back home with the hose. Came around the corner and looked and seen black smoke coming out the one corner of the barn there and that’s when I called 9-1-1 and tried to get down there and see if there was anything I could do but I couldn’t even get near it. It was already hotter than hot, you know."

More T/K

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: The Bethany assignment is back in service.

June 26, 2014 - 11:50am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Pavilion.

A Letter to the Readers of The Batavian:

This letter is to thank everyone who battled the massive fire that destroyed an iconic landmark in the Town of Pavilion on June 1st. Although a major part of our town's history lays in ruin, another historic landmark only eight feet from the structure that burned, still stands. No words can fully express our gratitude, but we will try...

To the firemen and women of the three counties and 14 departments who responded, we will always remember you are the reason our building is still standing, virtually untouched by the raging flames only feet away. With all that is wrong in this world, you showed us everything that is right. Your dedication to service, commitment to your community, teamwork and camaraderie were outstanding. Your gift to humanity is grace beyond measure. You gave us everything you had that fateful day, yet asked for nothing in return.

To the families of the firefighters and volunteers:

Thank you for your sacrifice on that beautiful sunny Sunday. We can only imagine the plans and projects that were put on hold while your loved one battled this blaze for hours and hours on end. How proud you must be of their service. These amazing men and women are appreciated and needed. They are an inspiring example to all. Look up and honor these brave and dedicated men and women.

To all the volunteers: Salvation Army, Red Cross, Town of Pavilion employees and residents who supplied water and food, your presence was comforting and nothing less than epic.

To those who donate to these organizations, a special thank you and a prayer that you may never need their services.

To the countless people that prayed that our building be saved, God listened!

To the three families that lost everything, we watched helplessly as your worldly processions went up in flames. Your calmness, strength, and faith is an inspiration that will forever be etched in our minds and hearts.

A special thank you and acknowledgement to the Town of Pavilion officials, highway department, and County Fire Coordinators office.

To Townsend Energy and Griffith Energy who donated supplied and delivered 275.2 gallons of diesel fuel to the fire trucks we salute your commitment to the community.

Lastly we want to thank God for His grace, watching over those that protect and serve. No humans or pets were lost.

Sincerely,

David and Ann D'Angelo, owners of 11114 and 11116 W. Park St., Pavilion
Catherine Carlsen from Country Hill
Teresa Tracy and Melissa Coral from Jazzy Creations
Ann D'Angelo from Remission Café
Pat Wolcott
Veronica Branch
McKenzie D'Angelo

(Photo provided by McKenzie R. D'Angelo)

June 23, 2014 - 9:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Stafford.

A field fire is reported at 5610 Route 5, behind the Golden Mobile Home Park, Stafford.

Stafford fire responding.

UPDATE 9:06 p.m.: A chief on scene reports a controlled burn. Engine 93 responding non-emergency.

June 20, 2014 - 10:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A working fire is reportedly coming from building 'B' at  20 N. Spruce St. in the city. The city's fourth platoon is called to the scene and the first platoon is called to headquarters.

UPDATE 1:30 a.m. (by Howard): At least 13 people, including young children, living in six apartments, were displaced by the fire. The fire started in a second-floor apartment occupied by a grandfather and three grandchildren. All four were home at the time and escaped unharmed. That apartment was gutted. A third-floor apartment was heavily damaged. There is smoke and water damage throughout the Group B part of the complex. The cause of the fire has not been determined. A witness said he arrived on scene seconds after the first fire crew. He saw fire burst through a window and within 45 seconds, firefighters had the fire knocked down. At this hour, city fire crews are still on scene.

June 20, 2014 - 6:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in city, fire.

A fence is reportedly on fire behind Batavia's Original Pizzeria, located at 500 E. Main St.

City fire is en route.

UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: Fire is out. City fire returning to service.

June 19, 2014 - 9:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire is responding to a report of smoke coming from the second story apartment at 27 E. Main St.

A second call reports it may be coming from a grill.

Le Roy ambulance and Bergen fire also responding.

UPDATE 9:34 p.m.: Call downgraded to one engine from Le Roy only.

UPDATE 9:27 p.m.: Le Roy fire back in service.

June 19, 2014 - 7:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke, Alabama, corfu, east pembroke, indian falls.

A fully involved cab fire is reported on a tractor-trailer at 8480 Alleghany Road, near or at the Thruway on/off ramp. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding along with mutual aid from Corfu and East Pembroke.

UPDATE 7:32 p.m.: Alabama's tanker is requested mutual aid to the scene.

UPDATE 7:57 p.m.: Pembroke command calls for a pallet of absorbent material.

UPDATE: Photo and video submitted by Amber Winters.

June 17, 2014 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany, Stafford.

Power lines are down and there is a large grass fire at 9267 Clipnock Road, near Sweetland Road. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are responding. National Grid is notified.

June 17, 2014 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany.

A transformer is on fire at Old East Bethany Road and Ellicott Street Road. All three primary power lines are also down in the roadway and arcing. Bethany Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 2:14 p.m.: National Grid is notified.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: On off-duty law enforcement officer reports the fire is out, but the power lines are blocking the roadway.

June 13, 2014 - 6:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, east pembroke.

A tree and power lines are reportedly on fire at 2378 Genesee St. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: National Grid is being contacted.

UPDATE 6:27 p.m.: A responder says there are three primary lines down across the roadway, two of which are covered by a large tree limb. There is a confirmed power outage in the immediate area as a result. National Grid is aware but no ETA given.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Only eastbound traffic will be allowed to continue traveling.

UPDATE 7:48 p.m.: East Pembroke is back in service. National Grid is on scene fixing the problem.

June 9, 2014 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

Town of Batavia Fire Chief Paul Barrett submitted these photos of yesterday's truck fire on Batavia Elba Town Line Road.

June 8, 2014 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany, Stafford.

A lawnmower fire near a structure is reported at 5461 Ellicott Street Road. Stafford and Bethany fire departments are responding.

June 5, 2014 - 10:55am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke.

A fire on the roof, near an air-conditioning unit, is reported at the Flying J Travel Plaza. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding along with Corfu and the city's Fast Team. The fourth platoon is called to stand by in city quarters. The building is evacuated. A first responder on scene reports nothing showing. Command says units already on the road can continue emergency mode.

UPDATE 10:58 a.m.: Fire appears to be out.

UPDATE 11:11: A code enforcement officer is on scene.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Corfu is back in service.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: Pembroke command says they are picking up and will be leaving the scene shortly.

June 2, 2014 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion.

If one picture could tell a story, this would be it. The eastern exposure of Country Hill Gifts with its second-story flower box completely unharmed by a fully involved fire that destroyed the former grocery store building at the corner of Ellicott Street Road and West Park Street. There's no real damage to the entire eastern exposure.

And the building to the north of the destroyed building is also fine.

Chad Freeman said today once the fire started, it was largely fought defensively with a mind toward saving the neighboring structures.

The cause was likely electrical with a line arcing, causing insulation in the second floor ceiling to smoke and burn until air hit it, giving fuel to the fire.

Freeman noted that the first floor was almost completely undamaged by the fire. The building was too heavily damaged, however, and last night an excavator had to knock it down.

This afternoon, crews were on scene to pump water from the basement of Country Hill, but there was even very little smell of smoke in the store.

The two items below were posted to the Pavilion, New York Facebook page by Jay Brooks. A bit of the store's history.

June 2, 2014 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke.

A manure pile is on fire at 8122 Marble Road, according to a farm hand there. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. The location is between Akron and Gabbey roads.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: The site is next to the alpaca farm. A responder on scene says "it's smokin' pretty good."

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Fire is out. Indian Falls is back in service.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Pembroke is back in service.

June 2, 2014 - 8:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion.

After nearly an hour on scene in Pavilion yesterday, I told a chief things seemed under control and I was heading back home to my yard work.

At that point, the two-story commercial and residential structure at the corner of Ellicott Street Road and West Park Street looked fine. There was a faint whiff of smoke in the air, but no smoke showing and certainly no visible fire.

"You might want to stick around," the chief said.

A firefighter told me a few minutes later as he laid out hose from a tanker truck, "this could get really interesting really fast."

Later the chief would tell me, "see, my worst fears came true."

The origin of the fire was in the crawl space of the attic. An area covered in hard wood, spray-in installation and only 18 inches of space in any direction.

First Assistant Chief Sean Vogt said his crew was poking through the ceiling, trying to find the right access point to the smoldering fire and Le Roy's crew had punched a ventilation hole in the roof, then the fire took on a life of its own.

"If we we could have gotten up there, gotten our hose lines up there, wetted it down, maybe we could have saved a little more of the building, but with it going through the roof, it just flashed over on us too fast," Vogt said. "It was just rough."

Pavilion's volunteer firefighters responded to the structure at 2:40 p.m. for the report of smoke in the building. Le Roy was immediately requested to the scene. Soon, responses from Bethany and Stafford were requested as well, then Bergen.

By the time fire broke out, there were two ladder trucks in position (Town of Batavia had its ladder in place minutes after the first flame erupted through the roof).

Even with Le Roy shooting water at the first flames, the blaze spread quickly once it got going.

As big and as destructive as the fire became, firefighters did manage to contain it to the one building, even though a house sat inches from the north wall and another commercial building was only two or three feet to the west.

County records do not list what year the building was constructed, but the west wall was covered in the same faux-brick metal siding that show up in 150-year-old photos of the former Wiss Hotel in Le Roy (the last building standing that I know of in Genesee County with this siding is in Corfu).

As many as 200 firefighters from Genesee, Livingstone and Wyoming counties responded to the fire. 

While the responding fire trucks can pump at least 1,250 gallons of water per minute, the fire hydrants in Pavilion flow at no more than 450 gallons per minute. At least a dozen tanker trucks responded to the scene to draw water from a nearby creek to provide additional water flow.

At least two firefighters were overcome by smoke and heat and were transported by Mercy EMS to area hospitals for evaluation.

Initially, while the fire was just smoldering, residents of the apartments were able to retrieve some belongings. The residents of the house to the north rescued their cat before the smoke got heavy.

Red Cross was on scene to provide food and beverages for firefighters.

(Initial Report)

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June 1, 2014 - 3:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A small mulch fire is reported outside Tops Market in Batavia near Lewiston Road. City firefighters are responding.

June 1, 2014 - 2:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A possible fire is reported at 6946 Ellicott Street Road in an apartment above the Heavenly Sweets Bakery & Deli. Pavilion Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Le Roy. The caller is a resident who came home and found the smell of something burning inside the building and a light haze.

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: The first responder on scene reports nothing showing.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: This is now a working structure fire. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are called to the scene and Stafford is also requested to provide a fill-in engine and crew for the Pavilion Fire Hall.

UPDATE 3:06 p.m.: A Mercy medic unit is requested to come in non-emergency in case needed.

UPDATE 3:09 p.m.: The city's Fast Team is requested to respond.

UPDATE 3:14 p.m.: The city's first platoon is called to stand by in its headquarters.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Heavy smoke is reported in the attic.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.: Firefighters are informed that the attic runs the length of the entire building, which is quite large.

UPDATE 3:34 p.m.: The roof has been opened up but only light haze is coming out. Bergen is asked to fill in at Le Roy Fire Station.

UPDATE 3:41 p.m.: Confirmed that all occupants are out of the building.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Calendonia fire is on scene to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: More smoke is filling the second floor. They are going to draw water from Hanson's crick.

UPDATE 4:01 p.m.: Although there are no flames visible, command is still concerned about the potential for combustion. The building's sprayed insulation is smoldering and causing much of the smoke, which makes it difficult for firefighters to see inside.

UPDATE 4:08 p.m.: York firefighters are on scene and establishing a draft site.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: A Sheriff's deputy is called to the scene to secure firearms.

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: Town of Batavia's fill-in crew is requested to the scene. Heavy black smoke is pouring from the roof where they opened it up.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: All interior firefighters are told to get out. Now they're going to open up the side of the building.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: The color of the smoke spewing out the windows is changing color, reports a firefighter. South Byron fire is asked to stage in their quarters.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Darien, East Pembroke and Elba firefighters are asked to man their ladder tanker trucks and stand by in their own quarters in case needed at the scene or anywhere in Genesee County.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Firefighters are ordered off the roof. Another Bethany crew is asked to stand by in their hall.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: Interior firefighters from Alexander are asked to stage in their quarters. Flames are said to be visible.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: National Grid has shut off power to the burning building and the one next to it.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: National Fuel reps are on scene and are asked to shut off the gas lines(s) to the buildings at the street.

UPDATE 5:17 p.m.: A second Mercy rig is asked to stand by at the fire scene.

UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: Some standby tankers are called in, plus another South Byron crew is told to report to their hall. All staging for fire crews is being moved to the front of the bank. Barre fire is asked to stand by in Barre's hall.

UPDATE 5:37: Town of Batavia's Rescue 20 and all available interior manpower called in.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m.: The second story is completely gutted and the building is a total loss. Heavy equipment is en route to raze the structure. A crew from Wyoming Correctional Facility is on scene to help with clean-up. A pet cat was rescued.

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