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August 6, 2018 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A railroad tie fire is reported east of Donahue Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

The caller is unsure of exact location. "It is by the water."

Train traffic is being shut down in both directions.

UPDATE 5:17 p.m.: The location is a half mile east of Donahue Road. A chief on scene says Engine 23 can respond non-emergency.

UPDATE 5:20 p.m.: A chief advises dispatch to contact CSX and notify the company that they might want to inspect the tie. "It's been burning for quite awhile."

August 6, 2018 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Pavilion, notify.


As soon as one of the Schroth's family's dogs stuck his head out of a bedroom window of their burned-out home, the cry went up from a firefighter: "dog in the window."

A half-dozen firefighters, including Chief Jeff Pietrazykowski, Bethany fire, and Capt. Marty Hinz, City fire, (top photo), converged on the window and worked together to lift the black lab out of the smoldering building.

By that point, the manufactured home was already a total loss with the interior destroyed from end to end.

Somehow five of the family's six dogs were safely accounted for at one point this afternoon and a sixth, Lucky, the family believed escaped and was hiding in the nearby woods. They were also hopeful their five cats escaped. There was a doggy door on the back of the house.

Nobody was home when the fire was reported at 11:45 a.m. at 7230 Telephone Road, Pavilion.

When Pavilion's Assistant Chief Don Roblee arrived on the scene, he could see there was no saving the structure and he immediately informed dispatchers that crews would be fighting a defensive fire.

The concern among firefighters then was the welfare of the family pets. That, and dealing with hot, humid weather, which made it imperative for firefighters to rotate assignments and stay hydrated, cool and rested.

"We had a second alarm just because in this heat you need people," Roblee said. "You've got to rotate the guys out. You want to keep them fresh. You don't want to get them hurt. ... It's so hot. They put on that 150 pounds of gear on plus air packs, you know, they're just drenched. You lose so much water and moisture in the body; you've got to take care of it."

There is no information available yet on the cause or origin of the fire. Nobody was home when the fire started. Roblee said the owners told him the only thing on in the house were two window air conditioners. 

The 1,512-square-foot manufactured home was constructed in 1999 and it sat on 2.2 acres of land, according to county records.

Assisting Pavilion were Le Roy, Bethany, Stafford, Wyoming, Caledonia, and City of Batavia's Fast Team. The Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management also assisted at the scene.

The black lab pulled from the window was soaking wet but had no interest in getting an air mask put over his face by Hinz once he was in a safe spot.  He was happy to get love from his owners Nessy Schroth and her mother Kim Schroth, who was overcome with emotion when she saw him.

Their other black lab, Mac, rescued later, was breathing hard after he was carried away from the house. Hinz fitting the breathing mask over his face while another firefighter poured water on him and petted him. Soon, they moved him into an air-conditioned truck and shortly after that he walked away from the scene on his own.

Previously: Trailer fire reported off Route 20 in Pavilion


"Dog in the window."


Pietrazykowski with the black lab rescued from the window.



Kim Schroth was overcome with emotion, happy to see one of her black labs rescued safely from the fire in her house.






August 6, 2018 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Pavilion.

A trailer, believed to be vacant, is reportedly on fire at 7230 Telephone Road, Pavilion.

Pavilion fire and Le Roy fire dispatched. Mutual aid requested from Caledonia.

UPDATE 11:43 a.m.: There are pets in the structure.

UPDATE 11:44 a.m.: Heavy smoke, no flames showing, "but there's definitely a fire. It's going to be defensive by the time we get here." The owner reportedly just went inside. 

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: Owner is out. Going to a second alarm. This is a trailer park.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 11:48 a.m.: This is a working trailer fire. The city's Fast Team, Bethany, Stafford, Perry Center, York and Wyoming are also called; "exterior only"; Perry to fill at Pavilion; medics called in non-emergency for rehab.

UPDATE 11:51 a.m.: The city fourth platoon is called into headquarters.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: "The owner is running up the road."

UPDATE 11:57 a.m.: Traffic police are requested to the scene by command.

UPDATE 11:59 a.m.: "All units go defensive," says command.

UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: Le Roy fire's auxiliary is requested to bring refeshments to the scene.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: Four pet dogs were safely rescued from the burning trailer.

UPDATE 12:39 p.m.: Five dogs have been rescued: Rosie, Penelope, Mac, Jack and Snoopy. A sixth dog, Lucky, is missing. Two cats are also missing, but the owner believes they may have escaped through the doggie dog and ran off.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m.: A total of five cats are missing. There were six dogs, five cats and four people living in the trailer. Five of the dogs are accounted for.     The people either got out or were already out when the fire occurred.

UPDATE 1:44 p.m.: Pavilion Second Assistant Chief Don Roblee said: the whole building -- a double-wide trailer with no cellar -- was involved by the time he arrived on scene. Nobody was home. A couple of portable air conditioners were turned on. There was no gas line to the trailer, but there were a couple of small propane tanks that "were just poppin'." National Grid cut power to the structure. "The lady of the house got there pretty quick and was just screaming to get her animals." Initially six dogs were trapped inside. "They made a good rescue." Five dogs are accounted for; a dog named Lucky got out but has not been located. Although five cats were also kept as pets there, Roblee says "they never told us anything about cats. We never saw any cats. They propably got out and are running around." The fire appears to have begun in the living room, spread to the kitchen, then back to the bedrooms. The ceilings and roof were collapsing and the fire was fought defensively from the get-go. The trapped dogs made their way to a back bedroom, called there through a window by firefighters. They were then rescued. "Good size dogs, beagles, too, Jack Russells." Eight fire companies from three counties -- including mutual aid from Livingston and Wyoming counties -- fought the blaze. "They're doing a pretty good job." It went to a second alarm, Roblee said, because they needed enough firefighters ready to relieve those who needed rehab. Fighting a fire wearing 150 pounds of clothing and gear, plus air packs in hot weather quickly dehydrates a person. Pavilion doesn't have an auxiliary any longer, so Le Roy's was called in. The trailer is a total loss. They are "drowning" hot spots now and will conduct an investigation.

July 29, 2018 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, pembroke.

A pickup truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer is on fire, fully involved, at Route 77 and Route  5, Pembroke. 

The fire is moving toward the trailer, which has a full propane tank on the front of the trailer. There are also power lines overhead.

Pembroke fire and Indian Falls fire responding. 

UPDATE 12:12 p.m.: Fire is knocked down. Starting overhaul. Route 5 is closed in both directions.

July 26, 2018 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Alabama, notify.


A fire in a detached garage at 6943 Knowlesville Road has now apparently caused the house to catch on fire.

Alabama fire dispatched along with Oakfield, East Pembroke, Pembroke, Elba and the City of Batavia's Fast Team.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 9:46 a.m.: Multiple explosions are heard. Indian Falls is standing by in their quarters. The city's second platoon is called its fire hall.

UPDATE 9:51 a.m.: National Grid and a code enforcement officer are called to the scene.

UPDATE 10:03 a.m.: National Grid has about a 10-minute ETA. Command asks that Salvation Army be contacted.

UPDATE 11:02 a.m.: The man who owns the house told Alabama Fire Chief Bill Schutt that he had been in his garage trying to repair his lawnmower and had stopped briefly to go elsewhere on the property to talk to a neighbor. Both people heard a loud pop then saw flames coming from the garage. The homeowner grabbed a garden hose in an attempt to keep the fire contained. Firefighters arrived quickly and were able to take advantage of new water lines and fire hydrants installed in the hamlet just last month, Schutt said. The garage burned down and the back of the house is heavily singed. The house next door has melted siding on a rear corner due to heat exposure. The fire is out. Firefighters are overhauling now.




July 21, 2018 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, byron.

A grass fire is reported at Route 33 and Warner Road, Byron.

The fire is 150 feet from a house.

A fire chief on scene has requested a law enforcement response, no reason given. A trooper is responding.

Byron and South Byron fire departments dispatched.

UPDATE 7:21 p.m.: All equipment can be held in quarters at this time.

July 20, 2018 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, fire, news.


A working barn fire is reported at 6866 Terry St. in Byron. It is almost on the ground and smoke can be seen from the Town of Batavia. There are several exposures and trees are said to be catching on fire.

Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding along with mutual aid from Bergen, Elba and the City's Fast Team. It has gone to a second alarm.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: All responding units to Terry Street are told by command "to back it down."

UPDATE 2:44 p.m.: The residents at the property where the barn is located were not home at the time. The mother of one of the residents said a young couple passing by rescued a cat that was inside the barn, which was a small two-story wooden structure.







July 20, 2018 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Pavilion.

A hay baler in a field at 7088 Dillon Road, Pavilion is reportedly on fire.

Pavilion fire along with Le Roy's brush truck requested to the scene.

July 19, 2018 - 11:21am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, east pembroke.

A house fire, with flames shooting from an electrical panel, is reported in East Pembroke at 1911 Cleveland Road. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Corfu. Town of Batavia Fire Department is asked to stand by in their quarters.

UPDATE 11:22 a.m.: A first responder on scene says smoke is showing. Command calls for Oakfield Fire Police to shut down Cleveland at Indian Falls Road. Indian Falls Fire Police are to shut down Main Road at Cleveland. Command says the goal is to get a quick knockdown; flames are not showing but there's a lot of smoke.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: Alexander is asked to stand by in their quarters to cover East Pembroke's fire district.

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: Mercy BLS #1 is going to the scene for rehab of firefighters. 

July 16, 2018 - 10:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, alexander, news.


A car fire was reported in the Village of Alexander this evening at a residence next to the cobblestone village hall on Buffalo Avenue.

We don't have any other details on the fire at this time.

Photos submitted by Heather Jackson.



July 14, 2018 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia news.

Wires down sparked a grass fire at Sikes Enterprises at 668 E. Main St., Batavia. City fire is responding. The location is an auto repair and service business.

July 13, 2018 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, fire, news.

A field of straw is on fire in the area off Richley Road, between Ridge and Simonds roads. A tractor near a barn is also on fire now; "it has been separated from the power unit." Darien Fire Department is responding. About one acre is in flames.

UPDATE 4:24 p.m.: Corfu is called to assist. UTV units will be deployed. Four separate fires in the vicinity are spotted.

UPDATE 4:26 p.m.: "Multiple grass and equipment fire reported." Alexander and East Pembroke UTVs requested to the scene. Hale bales are burning, too.

July 13, 2018 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A mulch fire is reported at Kohl's Department Store, 4170 Veterans Memorial Drive. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: A firefighter at the scene says it's a small fire that he will be put out with his water can. No exposures. All equipment to be held in quarters.

UPDATE 2:46 p.m.: The mulch fire has reignited. Town of Batavia Fire Department is called back to Kohl's to squelch it.

July 11, 2018 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Le Roy.

A garage fire is reported next to 29 Bacon St. in Le Roy. The location is between Pleasant and Mill streets. Le Roy Fire Department is responding with mutual aid from Bergen.

UPDATE 2:34 p.m.: Stafford, Pavilion and city fire are called to this working structure fire. Town of Batavia fire is asked to fill in at Le Roy's Hall.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: The city's second platoon is called to its headquarters to fill in.

UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: An official at the scene says the fire started after a resident used a butane torch to kill weeds. It's out now.

July 11, 2018 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.


A burning bush is reported at Ascension Parish on Sumner Street, Batavia.

The bush is right next to the building.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: A first responder reports, "It looks like they got water on the fire with a garden hose."

UPDATE 12:17 p.m.: Scene commander, "Fire contained to the outside. No extension."

UPDATE: Photo submitted by Dick Long. He said the neighbor at Sumner and Swan provided the garden hose and sprayed it on the fire before City fire arrived.

July 10, 2018 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A stump fire next to a residence is reported at 3975 Rose Road, Batavia. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

The location is between Donahue Road and Route 98.

July 9, 2018 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, elba, news.

A silage fire is reported at 5020 Edgerton Road, Elba.

Elba fire along with Town of Batavia, Byron, and Bergen dispatched.

The fire is not near a residential structure.

UPDATE 5:36 p.m.: Fire units are about to clear.

July 8, 2018 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, elba, fire, news, notify.


An excavator is tearing down what remains of the Stumblin' Inn in Elba this afternoon while fire crews keep the smoldering wood wet and attack hot spots that flare up as they get air.

"The building was constructed in the late 19th century, balloon construction, and there was fire throughout the building," said Jim Bouton, deputy emergency management coordinator. "The only way to successful to get to the hot spots now is with heavy equipment to haul the building apart so they can get to these hot spots in the building, otherwise we’re going to leave here and there is a potential for this lighting back up and we don’t want that to occur."

Bouton explained that as the fire caused the roof to collapse, it created trapped hot spots that can't be reached without pulling the wood apart, and as that happens, air hits those pockets and feeds the fire.

Crews will keep working on the fire until there's no evidence of remaining hot spots.

Meanwhile, the Village of Elba remains closed to through traffic.

The cause of the fire is officially undetermined. Investigators suspect an electrical issue.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: In about a half hour, all equipment will be removed from the roadway, so it can be cleaned up, the chief says.






July 8, 2018 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, news, notify, stumbling' inn, elba hotel, fire.


Over the decades, many local residents enjoyed their first beer at the Stumblin' Inn in the Village of Elba, and some also drank their last there, noted Chuck Hoover, who drank his first beer there when he turned 18 (the legal drinking age then).

Today, the bar, former hotel (built in 1875), live music venue, and community hub was destroyed by fire.

"At about 9 a.m. we were dispatched for fire on the outside of the building, a couple minutes later when we arrived there were flames coming from the north-northeast side, coming out of two bottom windows, and one window on top," said Elba Fire Chief Mike Heale, adding that they are investigating whether the blaze began inside or outside.

The fire quickly went to a second, third and possibly fourth alarm, Heale said.

Multiple power lines stretched in front of the building were a problem and the logistics of setting up the hydrants and tankers, and truck placements were difficult in the village setting, Heale said, but thanks, in part, to recently installed village fire hydrants, firefighters were able to put a lot of water on the fire quickly.

The balloon construction of the building allowed flames to quickly climb into the attic and then across the length of the structure, which is a total loss.

"We got a good jump on it," the chief said. "We were on point with our pre-plan. We caught a break with the (lack of) heat. ... We attempted to go in through the backside but we immediately pulled people out."

Building owner Steve Goff and his brother, Jim Goff, manager of the bar, both got out of the building safely before the first firefighters were on scene. Steve Goff acquired the building in 1979, when the bar became the Stumblin' Inn.

Rehab for firefighters was set up at the Elba Fire Station and there were enough responders from two counties so that firefighters were rotated through to keep them hydrated.

The fire was reported to be under control shortly before 1 p.m.

According to the 1985 History of Genesee County, published by the Holland Purchase Historical Society with assistance from the Genesee County Department of History, Elba's first hotel, the Pine Hill Hotel, opened in 1815 and was owned by Steve Harmon.

The hotel was destroyed by fire in September of 1874. A new hotel was built and was in operation by July 23, 1875. The Elba or Swartz Hotel (a reference to the Swartz family who took it over from W. B. Moreau in 1882 and operated it for more than 50 years) was passed down through the years and had several different owners before Goff bought it.

Other owners have included Charles and Frank Zambito, Tony and Alice Tartaglia, Tom and Marty Greer, Betty and Tom Hemmerick, and Peter C. Marowski.

"Hotels and taverns have also played an important role in the lives of Elbans since the early days when Wyllis Tavern provided, food, drink and lodging for travelers and a place for local people to meet for refreshments and to get the news," the history book notes.

"It's been here for a lifetime," said Doug Chappius, who along with his wife, Sandra, have owned and operated Chap's Elba Diner at 5 S. Main St., Elba, for the past seven years. "I can remember when I was a kid coming here. As soon as I turned drinking age, that's where I went. I'm from Albion. I remember riding snowmobiles, four-wheelers here.

"Everybody used to come here. It's a loss for party people."

Chappius said when the fire broke out, "a lady came into the restaurant and she said 'There's a fire over there. Can I get a bucket of water to put it out?' She didn't seem very excited but I told my dishwasher to bring a bucket of water over there.

"I guess there was a little fire on the floor -- inside right by the front door -- and by the time he got there, it blew the window out and he backed off and came back."

Chuck Hoover, a lifelong resident of Elba, says "It's a sad day in Elba" because the Stumblin' Inn holds a lot of memories; it was an Elba landmark.

"It was a place where people gathered to meet, they sponsored go-cart rides, held parties," Hoover said. "It was just a good place for people to gather and meet. Listen to some live music from time to time. We use to go there after the field day, after reunions. It was old-school."

He said the Stumblin' Inn has been a community gathering place for years and the Goffs hosted many community charity events.

Bob Given, who has lived in Elba for 55 years, said he remembers when the hotel was three stories and there was a dance floor on the third floor. There was a restaurant that served spaghetti and fish fries on Friday night.

"The older you get, the less you frequent those places," Given said. "I'm glad it went on a day like today -- not with the wind blowing or in 10-below weather."

The Stumblin' Inn was popular with local musicians and area residents who enjoy live music.

"The Stumblin Inn has been a staple in the local music community for so long, it's hard to imagine a world without it," said Paul Draper, a local musician and music promoter. "It's a place where a lot of us musicians cut our teeth and were able to grow and learn to be better entertainers.

"There are not too many places around that would give a new band with no name or following an opportunity to play. The Stumblin' provided that. This is truly a sad day for the local music community and we are already prepared to help Jim and 'Stork' in any way that we can."

Howard Owens contributed to the story. Photos by Howard Owens.



Jim Bouton, deputy emergency management coordinator, comforts Steve Goff, owner of the Stumblin' Inn. Goff is also pictured below talking with Deputy Austin Heberlein.








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