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June 5, 2015 - 1:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy.

A barn fire is reported in the area of the intersection of Conlon and North roads. Le Roy Fire Department and Ambulance Service are responding, along with mutual aid from Bergen, Mumford and Caledonia.

UPDATE 1:19 p.m.: The call has gone to a second alarm. Pavilion, Stafford and the Town of Batavia Fast Team are called. A firefighter on scene reports seeing flames inside the structure.

UPDATE 1:24 p.m.: A burner is being used at the barn, a firefighter confirms. No barn fire. Units are told to go back in service.


May 26, 2015 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, bergen.

Smoke coming from a residence is reported at 6970 W. Bergen Road. Bergen fire is responding along with mutual aid from Le Roy, and Mercy medics are called in, too. The location is said to be across from the Byron-Bergen track field.

UPDATE 6:54 p.m.: The call came in from a person across the street who said smoke could be seen coming "from the top of the residence." It is not yet known if the house is occupied.

UPDATE 7 p.m.: A fire truck from Churchville is also en route. Fire Police are requested to shut down traffic at Byron-Bergen Central School and Dublin Road.

UPDATE 7:27 p.m.: Bergen command has released Le Roy and Churchville, which are both now returning to service.

May 26, 2015 - 12:06am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, east pembroke.

A fire with multiple explosions, "multiple vehicles, possibly tankers involved," is reported at Kistner Concrete Products, Inc., 8713 Read Road, Town of Pembroke. East Pembroke fire chief responding told dispatch "I can't get close enough -- multiple explosions." East Pembroke Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Oakfield, Darien, Alexander and Town of Batavia.

UPDATE 12:08 a.m.: Pembroke Fire Department is asked to stand by in East Pembroke's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:09 a.m.: Mercy medic #2 is requested to the scene on Read Road.

UPDATE 12:18 a.m.: A dispatcher tells command: "My partner spoke with the owner and he explained what was happening. He's been updated about the situation."

UPDATE 12:22 a.m.: Howard at the scene says the fire is out. A semi-truck was completely destroyed and a flatbed truck adjacent to it was heavily damaged.

UPDATE 12:29 a.m.: East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton told Howard: "I don't know what blew up. We were sitting at the fire hall when we heard the explosion. I've heard tires explode and they never sounded that loud."

UPDATE 1:55 a.m.: Photos and more information from Chief Don Newton.






Newton said he and two other members of the department were burning the midnight oil at the Fire Hall working on reports when they heard a series of booms.

"It sounded like thunder," Newton said. "Well, actually, it sounded like more than thunder, so we walked outside then I heard about 10 more explosions and I said there's more than just thunder going on."

Newton and the other firefighters got into his personal vehicle and went out to scout the area. A short drive down Route 5 and they spotted the orange glow in the sky at Kistner Concrete. They swung down Bennett Road, but couldn't get into the yard because of the locked gates and barriers. Newton said he could see a truck was on fire and it looked as though the fire could have spread to other vehicles. He was worried whether there might be a structure nearby.

"I couldn't tell if there was a building around it or not because the smoke was thick and it was black and it was dark," Newton said. "You couldn't see anything except for the orange glow."

Newton radioed dispatch and immediately requested a second alarm. He took the firefighters with him back to the Fire Hall and they rolled two engines.

The gate off Read Road was locked, so Newton used one of the trucks to pull it down so they could get access to the fire.

Soon, other volunteers arrived on scene and the East Pembroke crew with the aid of Oakfield, Town of Batavia, Darien and Alexander, was able to quickly get the fire knocked down (Pembroke and Indian Falls provided fill-in at East Pembroke's hall).

The quick response likely saved another truck that was sitting next to the one that caught fire as well as a piece of machinery on the neighboring flatbed trailer.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but was possibly electrical.

The truck's saddle tanks were brimming with fuel, ready for the next day's work, but a lot of things could have exploded, not just those tanks.

"The explosions could have been everything from tires to the fuel tanks to the air chambers," Newton said. "There's a lot of pressurized units on these trucks. This truck was last used on Friday, so it's very possible everything could still have been pressurized on it."

People reported hearing the explosions as far away as Wortendyke Road and the Village of Corfu.

May 25, 2015 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Alabama.

A caller reports a pile of logs on fire got out of control and is now posing exposure threats on several fronts of the property at 2245 Lewiston Road. Alabama Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Oakfield.

UPDATE 6:17 p.m.: Fire is out. Assignment is back in service.

May 14, 2015 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, burn ban.

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that New York State has extended the ban on residential brush burning until May 21 due to continued dry conditions across the state. Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in the state. In addition, the high fire danger burn ban prohibits outdoor fires, such as campfires and recreational fires, and open fires used for cooking. View the proclamation here.

“State officials have worked hand-in-hand with local firefighters to help contain a rash of wildfires that have broken out across New York in recent weeks," Governor Cuomo said. "With dry weather conditions persisting, I am extending this burning ban to better protect the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers who may find themselves and their property in harm’s way. I urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, their neighbors and the first responders.”

The eastern, central, southern and far northern regions of the state are rated as having a high risk of fire danger, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Southern Tier, Lake Ontario, and Adirondack regions are rated as having a moderate risk of fire danger. Additionally, the red flag warning is a short-term, temporary warning, indicating the presence of a dangerous combination of temperature, wind, relative humidity, fuel or drought conditions which can contribute to new fires or rapid spread of existing fires. This year, 110 fires have burned nearly 3,600 acres.

While all wildfires in New York are now contained, numerous state agencies deployed resources over the past two weeks to help battle wildfires in the astern New York.

On May 5, Governor Cuomo activated the Fire Operations Center at the New York State Emergency Operations Center in Albany to monitor and assist with a large brush fire in Ulster and Sullivan counties. Assets from the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Police, State Department of Transportation and the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs coordinated the fire response, including assistance from fire departments in Greene, Schoharie, Delaware and Broome counties. The Roosa Gap Fire in Sullivan and Ulster counties was caused by debris burning and consumed more than 2,700 acres. The fire is now contained. Patrols continue to monitor the site to ensure there are no flare ups.

All trails in the Hunter-West Kill Wilderness area in the town of Hunter, Greene County, are now reopened. The Department of Environmental Conservation closed these trails on May 8 while the Heavenly Valley Road Fire burned over 110 acres.

Since 2009, New York State has enforced a residential brush burning ban for towns with less than 20,000 residents from March 16 through May 14, the period when most wildfires occur. Some towns, primarily in and around the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park, are designated “fire towns,” and open burning is prohibited year-round in these municipalities unless an individual or group has a written permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. Burning garbage is prohibited year-round. Violators of the open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Keeping the burn ban in place for an additional week, and including a ban on cooking and recreational fires, is necessary and prudent. Governor Cuomo’s action will remind people to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Many of us enjoy the beautiful natural resources we have in New York, and we all play a role in protecting these resources as well as our family and friend’s by preventing fires.”

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “We are urging the public to be mindful that during periods of dry weather and gusty winds, brush fires can ignite from anything that can create a small spark. A lightning strike, a discarded match, or even a car backfiring, could cause a dangerous fire. It is important to take precautions to protect our neighbors and our property from situations that can quickly go from bad to worse.”

Since the ban was enacted, the average number of spring fires per year has decreased from 3,297 to 1,425 or 43.2 percent. To view an updated map of fire danger ratings in New York, visit

May 11, 2015 - 8:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, corfu.

A structure fire is reported at 2720 Pearl Street Road. Smoke is seen spewing from the right rear apartment. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding, along with mutual aid from Alexander, Pembroke and Darien. Town of Batavia Fire Department is requested to stand by in East Pembroke's fire hall and to provide fire police to shut down traffic at Route 33 and Hartshorn Road. Corfu Fire Police are asked to shut down traffic at Route 33 and Read Road.

UPDATE 9:11 p.m.: Crittenden Fire Department is responding to fill in at Corfu's fire hall.

UPDATE 9:18 p.m.: Code Enforcement was contacted and an officer will be responding to the scene in about 10 minutes.

UPDATE 10 p.m.: Alexander, Pembroke and Corfu are all back in service.

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: A chief informs us, the apparent cause of the fire is a lamp that fell over onto clothes. East Pembroke went back in service about 20 mintues ago.






May 11, 2015 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany.

A controlled burn is confirmed at 10474 Bethany Center Road and Bethany Fire Department is on scene.

May 10, 2015 - 9:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Oakfield.


Events on Jackson Street today kind of swamped the time available to do a follow up on the East Shebly Road fire, but here are the photos.

Look for a follow-up story, with photos, on Jackson Street, if not tonight, in the morning.

To purchase prints, click here.

May 10, 2015 - 12:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Oakfield.

A working house fire is confirmed by a firefighter at the scene, 3039 E. Shelby Road, Oakfield. "He's reporting the barn is now going also," says a dispatcher. All manpower from Oakfield called in, along with mutual aid from Elba and Alabama. Town of Batavia fire is asked to go to the scene with a ladder truck and to fill in at Oakfield's hall. The city's Fast Team is called. The call has gone to a second alarm.

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: National Grid is notified. The city's fourth platoon is called to its headquarters.

UPDATE 12:43 p.m.: The rear of the house, which is a mobile home, is damaged but not currently on fire says Howard at the scene. Also, the barn is actually more like a shed or garage.

UPDATE 1:02 pm.: 

UPDATE 1:06 p.m.: Oakfield command reporting the fire is out; checking for extension.

UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: A man and his wife and baby live here, said the fire chief. They are not injured. Their pet beagle was kenneled next to the garage and when firefighters arrived, one of the firefighters open the pen and let the dog out. The dog ran off and they don't know where he is, but they don't think he'll go far because he was injured last week when he got hit by a car.

UPDATE 2:29 p.m.: The American Red Cross is contacted to help the family; no ETA.

May 8, 2015 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A grass fire is reported behind Delre's Greenhouse and Garden Center, 4062 W. Main Street Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

May 7, 2015 - 5:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, byron.

A grass fire is reportedly burning its way toward a barn at 6912 Lyman Road. Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding. The location is between Coward and Beaver Meadow roads.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: The dispatcher says a small building and several vehicles are now involved in the fire.

UPDATE 5:13 p.m.: The dispatcher says they are on the phone with "DEC police."

May 7, 2015 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire.


A discarded cigarette is the likely cause of a fire that left burned out three residents of 5253 Bridge Road, Elba, out of their home last night, according to Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator.

Two dogs, a chinchilla and five kittens born to a barn cat and living in the basement, are believed to have perished in the fire.

No people were hurt in the fire.

The 140-year-old farm house was divided into two apartments.

At least two of the residents were smokers and were known to stand out behind the house, on the back porch, smoke, and deposit their butts in a plastic canister by the back door.

That's where the fire started.

The structure is still standing and the first floor remains accessible.  

This morning Alex Beardsley and a friend were pulling out the personal belongings of Beardsley and his brother. Beardsley said excluding clothing and books and anything else easily damaged by water, about 90 percent of their personal property was saved when firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the second floor.

Beardsley and his brother had a significant investment in the game Warhammer 40,000. That collection was largely undamaged.

One of the dogs that died in the fire belonged to Beardsley and his brother. The other lived with the upstairs resident.

The likely brand of cigarette that ignited the fire is Senecas. About half-a-decade ago there was some controversy around cigarettes manufactured by tribes and their lack of fire-safe features, but in 2009, the Seneca Nation announced all of their cigarettes would be fire safe.

A fire-safe cigarette will burn out more quickly when left unattended.

An employee of Zuber Farm, where the house is located, said the structure is a total loss and will be torn down.





May 6, 2015 - 11:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, elba.


Here's photos from this evening's fire at 5253 Bridge Road, Elba. At this point, we have no new information beyond what was in our initial post.










To purchase prints, click here.

NOTE: In the past, when I had a group of photos to upload at night for a slide show, I would typically get the upload started and go to bed and post the slide show in the morning. It would take an hour, maybe two hours, depending on the size of the slide show, to upload the photos. Now we have broadband through Empire Access. It took only 10 minutes to upload this slide show.

May 6, 2015 - 8:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, elba.

















A house fire is reported at 5263 Bridge Road, Elba. The location is between Norton and Transit roads. Elba fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:33 p.m.: Bergen, Byron, Oakfield, South Byron and Stafford are called to provide mutual aid at the confirmed working house fire. Town of Batavia is requested to fill in at Elba's hall. Mercy medics are also called in.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: National Grid advised of the blaze, no ETA provided.

UPDATE 9:25 p.m.: Tankers from Alexander and East Pembroke requested to the scene. At least two of the three tankers called in are filling up at the ARC Center. Howard at the scene reports it is believed that one dog and two cats were on the property. Over the scanner, it is reported that a man is en route to pick up a dog located on Bridge Road. One of the two cats was seen jumping from a window of the burning house. "It is still standing," says Howard of the house, "but it appears to be a total loss. Flames are shooting from the roof."

UPDATE 10 p.m.: The property is owned by Zuber Farms. Firefighters will be there for awhile, doing overhaul. Howard is clearing the scene.

May 6, 2015 - 7:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

An unknown-type fire is reported near a residence at 4596 East Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding. The location is between Creek and Putnam roads.

UPDATE 8:38 p.m.: The fire is out. The East Road assignment is in service.

May 6, 2015 - 6:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, byron.

A field fire is reported in the area of 6945 Byron Road. The location is between Tower Hill Road and Byron Elba TL Road. Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: Fire is out. Byron and South Byron firefighters are back in service.

May 4, 2015 - 7:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, byron.


A grass fire is reported at 6369 Cole Road. South Byron Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: South Byron #86 is on scene.

UPDATE 8:44 p.m.: Byron Fire Department also responded. The fire is out and the responders are back in service.

UPDATE: Byron Chief Durkee sent in these pictures. Durkee said Byron arrived on scene first. He said, "These pictures were of the mop up. We had about a 100-yard stretch of fire that was barrelling into the marshes of the swamplands. The DEC officer ticketed the owner. There is still a no-burn law and people just don't seem to care. If this took off we would have been in a real battle."



May 4, 2015 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, alexander.

A structure fire is reported at 942 Gulf Road, Attica. It's a two-story, wood-frame house. Attica fire is responding along with mutual aid from Alexander.

UPDATE 3:39 p.m.: The city's Fast Team is requested to the scene. The location is near McGrath Road.

UPDATE 3:44 p.m.: The city's First Platoon is called to headquarters. Alexander requests a crew from Darien to stand by in Darien's own fire hall.

UPDATE 3:56 p.m.: Town of Batavia fire is requested to stand by in Alexander's fire hall. East Pembroke is asked to fill in at Darien's fire hall.

UPDATE 4:22 p.m.: Darien is now requested to the scene.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: Bethany Fire Department is asked to fill in at Attica's fire hall.

May 4, 2015 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, corfu.

A grass fire is reported at 922 Genesee St., Corfu. Corfu Fire Department is responding.

May 4, 2015 - 11:53am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, east pembroke.

A grass fire is reported by the Thruway Authority at mile marker 398.5 westbound. East Pembroke fire is responding. The Weather Service has a red flag warning in effect due to low humidity and strong winds, which can cause fires to quickly get out of control.

UPDATE 12:16 p.m.: Fire is out. East Pembroke assignment is back in service.


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