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February 21, 2022 - 11:14pm

With smoke filling house on Vine Street, resident with walker helped from home by neighbor

posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news, notify.

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An older woman at 167 Vine St. Batavia, using a walker, was reportedly helped from her house while it was filling with smoke this evening by an identified female neighbor.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation. 

Interim Fire Chief Dan Herberger said it appeared the fire started in the basement and the basement was fully involved by the time fire crews arrived on the scene and was starting to make an incursion into the first floor by the time it was extinguished.

"There is significant fire damage in the basement and the fire popped up through the first floor," Herberger said. "There is significant smoke damage throughout the house. There is a lot of damage.

Mary McCarthy, daughter of the resident of the house, and her husband Mike McCarthy told The Batavian's photographer Jim Burns about the apparent rescue of her mother by a neighbor and said she became aware of the fire when receiving an alert on her mobile phone from the house's Ring security system and she could view the smoke through the Ring's recorded video. The McCarthys immediately headed to the house.

The fire was reported around 6:30.

City Fire along with Alexander's Fast Team, with mutual aid from the Town of Batavia and Le Roy Fire, responded to the two-alarm fire.

Herberger said the fire was somewhat difficult to fight because the basement is set up for a home hair salon, so there are barriers in the basement along with chemicals.

The original dispatch placed the fire at the YWCA on North Street but when crews arrived, they determined the fire was at the residence.  There was smoke coming from the chimney, which on a warmer day, indicates basement fire, Herberger said, and flames showing from at least three basement windows. 

County records indicate the home is owned by Joyce Meisner and Mary McCarthy.  The ranch-style brick house was built in 1950 and is 1,715 square feet. The assessed value is $155,000.

UPDATE: Press release,

On Monday, February 21, 2022, at 6:34 pm the City of Batavia Fire Department responded to reported smoke from a house at 167 Vine St. in the City of Batavia.  Initial fire units arrived at 6:38 pm to find smoke emanating from a one-story, single-family home.  One occupant of the home was assisted to safety by the City of Batavia PD and neighbors upon FD arrival.  Fire crews entered the home to find a large volume of smoke throughout with fire in the basement.  Crews had difficulty locating the fire due to its location in the basement.  The fire was placed under control at 7:32 pm.  Extensive fire and smoke damage were caused to the structure and contents.

Two civilian injuries were reported, however, both refused transport to the hospital.  No firefighter injuries were reported. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation by City of Batavia Fire Department fire investigators.  

The City of Batavia Fire Department was assisted by the City of Batavia Police, City of Batavia Bureau of Inspections, Town of Batavia FD, Alexander FD, LeRoy FD, Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center and Emergency Management Office, Mercy EMS (as well as an ambulance from the FEMA deployment to the area), National Grid and National Fuel.

Photos by Jim Burns

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