Local Matters

Community Sponsors


November 9, 2018 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A chimney fire is reported at 7887 Kelsey Road. There is smoke in the residence, which is being evacuated. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

November 4, 2018 - 6:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, notify, batavia.


A fire that is thought to have started on the west side of the home destroyed a parsonage at 4131 Rose Road in Batavia late this morning.

"We lost our parsonage," said Faith Community Chapel Pastor Henry Pokrywa. "Firefighters responded promptly. Nobody was inside. The dog got out and they're still looking for the cat."

Retired Faith chapel Pastor Gene Demay and his wife, Rena, lived at the church-owned property with their pets.

They were at the chapel next door when the fire broke out and a passerby saw flames coming from the structure and called the Emergency Dispatch Center.

Town of Batavia Deputy Fire Chief Robert Tripp said they secured the natural gas line when they arrived on scene and waited for apparatus to arrive. They had difficulty accessing the origins of the fire because the house has a metal roof on top of asphalt shingles.

Tripp said they were able to send a crew inside initially, but then the interior became fully involved and a partial collapse of the roof on the south side made staying inside too dangerous so the crew was called outside.

At that point, until they could cut through the roof, the only points to fight the fire were windows and where venting occurred. Extensive overhaul will need to be done to ensure it's out and there's no rekindle.

"Don't put a metal roof over asphalt shingles," Tripp said. "Have one (kind of roof) or the other. Our saws are prepared for one style or the other. We have to switch out the blades to cut through both," which takes precious time to do.

"No one was injured, thank God," said Pastor Pokrywa. "We thank everybody for their prayers and we thank the firefighters and first responders."

Pokrywa added that the well-being of retirees Gene and Rena Demay "will be taken care of."

Once the fire was out, firefighters searched the flooded basement for the cat and found it alive. After getting a bit of oxygen, the cat was taken to a local vet for further examination.

Asked if the parsonage is a total loss, Deputy Chief Tripp said they have been unable to get inside yet to make that determination. There is significant smoke and fire -- not water -- damage to the first floor.

Firefighters responded with mutual aid from Le Roy, Alexander, and Stafford. Also responding were the American Red Cross, Mercy medics and Genesee County Sheriff's deputies.

Howard Owens was at the scene and contributed to this report. Photos by Howard Owens.






Pastor Henry Pokrywa



Tim Yaeger, the county's emergency management coordinator, carries books that were recovered by interior firefighters after the fire was out. These were the first items removed from the house. Several items were removed, including what looked like family photos that probably sustained water and smoke damage but appeared unburned.

November 4, 2018 - 11:37am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, notify, batavia.

A church-owned house next to Faith Community Chapel is on fire at 4131 Rose Road, at the intersection of Rose Road and Route 98 in Batavia. Flames are showing. It has a metal roof. Churchgoers were on the premises when the fire broke out, but they are believed to all be out of structures. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 11:38 a.m.: Flames have well involved the west side of the house and are shooting through the roof, according to a firefighter on scene. Alexander's Fast Team is called for mutual aid, along with Le Roy and Stafford fire departments and Mercy medics.

UPDATE 11:42 a.m.: A first responder has shut off the natural gas line on the property. They are clearing the parking lot of vehicles to accommodate emergency equipment. The American Red Cross is called to the scene.

UPDATE 11:48 a.m.: National Grid is called to shut down power. Traffic is being held at Route 98 and Rose Road.

UPDATE 3:09 p.m.: The family dog was rescued from the house before the fire spread but the fate of a cat was unknown. Throughout the fire and overhaul, it was believed the cat was in the basement. The basement was flooded and firefighters had to pump water out. We just received word the cat was found alive and was rescued.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: Town of Batavia assignment back in service.

October 29, 2018 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A kitchen fire is reported at 627 E. Main St., Batavia.

City fire is arriving on scene reporting light black smoke coming out of Apt. 3.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.: Scene commander reports, "sounds like food on the stove. Making entry now."

UPDATE 3:35 p.m.: Fire is out. Ventilating. 

October 27, 2018 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

Following a report of smoke coming from the kitchen at Miss Batavia Diner on a East Main Street, Batavia, City fire has located the possible source — a fire in a rooftop air conditioning unit.

UPDATE 8:38 a.m.: The fire is reported out.

October 26, 2018 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, pembroke, thruway.

A vehicle fire is reported by the Thruway Authority in the area of mile marker 401.8 with a person still inside the vehicle.

Flames reportedly showing.

Pembroke Fire and Indian Fall Fire dispatched.

It's possible that the person doesn't even realize the vehicle is on fire. There is no indication the person is disabled or that the fire is the result of an accident.

UPDATE 12:09 p.m.: Pembroke and Indian Falls back in service. Unfounded.

October 7, 2018 - 2:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A transformer fire is reported at 3 Washington Ave., between Ellicott Avenue and Thomas Avenue.

Flames showing.

City fire responding.

October 4, 2018 - 7:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, byron, notify.


A residential fire is reported at 6612 Warboys, Byron.

Byron fire and South Byron fire dispatched.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 8 p.m: This is a working house fire. It has gone to a second alarm. The city's Fast Team is called, along with Mercy medics. Flames are showing.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: Bethany's tanker is requested to the scene.

UPDATE 8:09 p.m.: A crew from Town of Batavia is asked to stand by in Town of Batavia's Fire Hall.

UPDATE 8:22 p.m.: A crew from Alexander is asked to stand by in Alexander Fire Hall in case needed as a backup for Bethany, which has its tanker deployed at the Warboys fire.

UPDATE 8:26 p.m.: The property is a total loss. The roof is gone; the house is gutted and the garage is completely destroyed.

UPDATE 8:37 p.m.: Elba Fire Police are requested to the intersection of North Byron Road and Route 237.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: No one was home when the fire broke out. It was called in by a passerby. No word yet if any pets lived there, and if so, their fate.





October 2, 2018 - 9:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Bethany, news.

A shed fire is reported at 5222 Broadway, Bethany.

Bethany fire dispatched.

Mutual aid requested from Pavilion, Le Roy, Town of Batavia, and City Fire's FAST Team.

September 25, 2018 - 11:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, batavia.

An electrical fire in the wall is reported at 4020 S. Main Street Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding; a first responder on scene reports smoke is showing in the residence; the sole occupant is out of the building. The location is between Fairway Drive and the city limit. The Fast Team out of the city is called for mutual aid to the town for the possible house fire. South Main Street Road is to be shut down at Fairway Drive.

UPDATE 11:07 p.m.: South Main is shut down at Fairway. The city's third platoon is called to headquarters to stand by because firefighters are deployed on South Main Street Road for the possible house fire.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: National Grid has been notified, as per command's request.

UPDATE 11:22 p.m.: The fire is out. The city's Fast Team has been released. Town of Batavia fire remains on scene to do overhaul and investigate the blaze.

September 24, 2018 - 9:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, news, fire.

A fire is reported behind apartments on Horseshoe Lake Road in Stafford. Stafford Fire Department is on scene.

September 19, 2018 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, news, fire.

A corn chopper is reportedly fully engulfed in flames in a farm field at Colby and Sumner roads, Darien.

Darien fire is dispatched.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m.: Fire is out.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Darien fire is back in service.

September 18, 2018 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Darien, notify.


A structure fire is reported at 483 Alley Road, Darien.

That's between Gadd Road and Countyline Road.

The fire has gone to a second alarm.

It was initially reported as a shop fire but it reportedly quickly spread to a residence. A caller reportedly went into the house to assist an elderly resident with getting out.

Darien fire dispatched along with mutual aid companies.

UPDATE 11:34 p.m. (By Billie): The house closest to the blaze was never in danger; there was no flame damage to the house. A neighbor assisted an elderly resident to the back of the property, where the elderly resident's son resides. Meanwhile, a neighbor and the woman's son removed propane tanks from the building. But the all-metal construction of the shop was nonetheless destroyed. The son is a road construction electrical contractor.

UPDATE 1 a.m. (by Howard): The structure was fully involved when the first firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Capt. Ray Felski, so crews immediately took a defensive posture toward fighting the fire.

"Tthe initial report said it was a shop fire and then it was updated that it might have gotten to the residence," Felski said. "On our arrival, it had not gotten into the residence. It was contained to the shop building, which was fully involved on our arrival."

The structure is a total loss, along with four commercial vehicles parked in the building.

Firefighters from three counties and seven companies responded to the fire. No injuries were reported. The humid night required crews to rotate regularly so they could stay hydrated. There is a large pond on the property near the shop, which was a key source of water, Felski said. Tankers were also dispatched to the fire. "Water was not an issue," Felski said.

The property is owned by the Osborn family.

PHOTOS: First four photos submitted by a reader. The rest of the photos by Howard Owens.








September 12, 2018 - 7:10am

Press release:

This Friday, Sept. 14th, the Batavia Blue Devils Football Team and its supporters would like to recognize all those who have worn or currently wear a military or first responder uniform by inviting them to come to the home game.

Any military personnel, police officer, firefighter or first responder will get free admission (with proof of ID) as well as a complementary hot dog and drink. They will also be seated in the end zone; and to thank them for their service, they will be honored at approximately 7:15 p.m. prior to the start of the game.

Vandetta Stadium is located at 120 Richmond Avenue in the City of Batavia.

September 4, 2018 - 5:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Le Roy.

Smoke is reportedly coming from an electrical panel in a residence at 9246 Glenwood Drive in the Town of Le Roy. Le Roy fire is on scene; Bergen's ladder truck is also called along with Le Roy ambulance. Light smoke is inside. Now an engine out of Stafford is called.

UPDATE 5:21 p.m.: An infrared camera will be used to detect heat in the walls.

September 1, 2018 - 6:33am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A shrub is on fire in the area of South Swan Street and Ellicott Street, according to a caller to dispatch. A red Chevy Impala is nearby. The shrub is near a structure. City fire just arrived and reports the location is at the rear of 400 Ellicott. Light smoke is showing.

UPDATE 6:35 a.m.: "Porch on fire. Water on the fire. Overhauling. Will be investigating," says command.

UPDATE 6:39 a.m.: Fire command asks for the owner of the residence at 400 Ellicott St. to be contacted to come to the scene.

UPDATE 6:43 a.m.: The owner says he will try and locate the tenant to respond or he, the owner, will respond. Command says the owner might want to respond regardless of the tenant's availability because "quite a bit of this porch" is damaged from the blaze.

UPDATE 6:53 a.m.: Ladder #15 is back in service.

UPDATE 6:58 a.m.: Command at the scene awaits the owner, with a five- to 10-minute ETA.

UPDATE 7:19 a.m.: The owner arrived and contacted the tenant. Fire command is back in service.

August 25, 2018 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A caller reports smoke coming from under the porch and possibly from the basement of a residence at 5 Franklin St., Batavia.

The occupants have been advised to evacuate. 

City fire dispatched.

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: Fire contained to the porch, smoldering right now.

UPDATE 10:31 p.m.: Fire is out. Overhauling.

August 23, 2018 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, byron.

A pile of railroad ties reportedly are on fire at the Ivison Road railroad crossing in Byron.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched.

UPDATE 6:37 p.m.: A chief on scene sees no fire or smoke. CSX called in the fire. The chief says all units respond non-emergency. He's investigating.

UPDATE 6:42 p.m.: Apparently, the fire has been located, near marker 394 east. It's not a big fire, just a couple ties. A chief at the fire suggests bringing the grass truck to the location.

UPDATE 6:53 p.m.: Fire is out, all units released. "It looks like CSX was doing some welding and that's what sparked it," a chief reports.

August 18, 2018 - 11:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion, news.

A shed fire is reported at 10035 Perry Road, Pavilion.

The shed is reportedly about 25 feet from the house. The location is just south of Junction Road.

Pavilion, Le Roy and Caledonia dispatched.

UPDATE 11:27 p.m.: Working structure fire, two structures involved, "with exposure problems."

UPDATE 11:43 p.m.: Bergen requested to stand by at the Bergen hall.

August 16, 2018 - 10:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, pembroke.

A car with no license plates was reported on fire on the Thruway side of the toll booth in Pembroke.

A toll taker reports the driver got out of the car and into a car driven by a female.

The car is a Nissan Altima.

Officers on scene suspect it's stolen and they are asking to see any Thruway video surveillance of the area.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched.

UPDATE 10:32 a.m.: Fire is out.

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button