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Damaged fire hydrant delays attack on fire in Batavia, property is total loss

By Howard B. Owens
14 mckinley fire

An apparently damaged fire hydrant on a McKinley Avenue home forced City firefighters to take a defensive posture instead of entering a duplex at 14 McKinley Ave. on Sunday to try and knock down a fire.

The structure, though still standing, is a total loss, said Chief Josh Graham.

"It just looks like maybe either a car or maybe a snowplow might have hit the hydrant," Graham said. "It's a little loose over there. I'm not sure exactly what it is yet."

The fire, with smoke and flames already showing, was reported shortly after 2 p.m.  Heavy smoke and flames coming from a first-floor window is exactly what firefighters found when they first arrived on scene, Graham said.

With the closest hydrant damaged, firefighters were forced to connect to a hydrant on East Main Street. The short delay allowed the fire to advance enough, Graham said, that firefighters were forced to make their initial attack from outside the structure.

Two families occupied the structure, including children. Graham didn't have a count of the exact number of occupants but said they were all out of the apartments by the time firefighters arrived on the scene. One person was transported to an area hospital with possible smoke inhalation and knee injuries.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Graham said he expects more information to be released on Monday.

He also said there were pets in the structure, and all of them escaped the fire.

The original house was built in 1911 and was wood framed, with what is called a balloon frame, which allows flames to easily grow up through the walls from the first floor all the way to the attic. 

It is 2,024 square feet. It was last sold, according to county tax records, in 2022 for $111,500 and has a total assessed value of $81,000.  The current owner, according to records, is Brandon Stevenson.

Previously: House fire reported on McKinley in Batavia (with more photos)

14 mckinley fire

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