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April 9, 2009 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, corfu.

Units from Genesee and Erie counties have responded to a structure fire in Corfu at 4 Main Street, the former location of Pizza Pantry. 

An ambulance was called to the scene for a firefighter who reportedly fell in the building, but he exited safely and the extent of his injuries, if any, are unknown at this time.

The building is a two-story brick structure that was apparently gutted, but there is no significant exterior damage.

The initial call came in at about 12:35 p.m.

Dan Fischer at WBTA is also working on getting information on the fire.  Updates as they become available.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: Tim Yaeger says the firefighter mentioned in our first report is fine. He was treated and released. A second firefighter was struck by a piece of equipment and broke a tooth.

Linda Doll of Corfu says she called in the fire. She was returning from a funeral in Batavia when she saw smoke as she pulled into the village. As soon as she turned onto Main Street, she saw flames coming from the back of the building, she said. She immediately called 911.

UPDATE: The following photo was submitted to The Batavian by James F. Gerber, photographer for the Alden Fire Department.

UPDATE: Joanne Beck reports that the cause of the fire is suspicious.

The cause remains under investigation. Yaeger said it started on the outside of the building, and a witness reported children in the area.

April 2, 2009 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

BATAVIA, N.Y. -- It's a great day to BBQ, but apparently some people haven't brushed off the cob webs of winter and reminded themselves cooking out doors.

About 1:35, a resident on Bank Street saw flames from an enclosed area in a neighbors back yard and called dispatchers with report of a fire at 117 Bank Street.

Batavia fire crews responded promptly and found nothing more than a beginning-of-spring bar-b-que in progress.


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Grass fire

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Brush fire

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Brush fire

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March 28, 2009 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield, fire.

An "out of control" grass fire is being battled at 3186 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road.

The fire covers an estimated two acres and additional crews have been request.

No report on whether any structures are threatened.

UPDATE 2:58 p.m.: I'm on scene. Fire seems pretty much under control. Manpower-only crews were called in from Stafford and Pembroke (Pembroke's brush truck was reported out of service). The fire started as a controled burn, according to homeowner Michael Cusmano. "It just took off," he said. I'll post a picture or two shortly. Also, there is another reported brush fire near Stafford (I didn't catch the exact address) and a grass fire at 10346 Hartwell Road in Pavilion.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: I didn't make it out to the Pavilion fire. It sounds like it's under control at this point. Some crews are returning to station.


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March 25, 2009 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire.

A brush fire was reported in Elba at 4819 Hundredmark Road at about 10:30 this morning.

While the fire is near a structure, the structure does not appear threatened at this time.

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March 24, 2009 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire.

A fire that was supposed to be a conrolled burn got out of hand and became a blaze that required four engine companies to respond.

The fire consumed a barn at 7411 Oak Orchard Road, but apparently not the one intended to be destroyed, reported WBTA on it's afternoon news.

I was unable to get to the fire this morning.

Here's a map of the location:

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March 23, 2009 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

Fire units are responding to a "good size" brush fire at 8910 Lehigh Road in the Town of Batavia.

One crew on the scene has reported the fire spreading.

No further information available at this time.

UPDATE: A few minutes after this initial post, crews reported the fire was largely put out and clean up was in process.

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March 13, 2009 - 4:18am
posted by Brian Hillabush in history, Oakfield, fire.

I knew the village of Oakfield has been around for a long time, but I never really thought about what might have happened before everybody living there was born.

While looking at some history sites I came across one called GenDisasters, which posted a story from an Ohio Newspaper called The Mansfield News from 5-12-1895.

Buffalo, May 11. -- The little village of Oakfield was entirely destroyed by fire this morning. Not a house is left standing. The fields about the burning village are occupied by the refugees who have saved nothing from the flames. Shortly after 3 o'clock this morning a telegram was received here asking for assistance but none could be sent. The telegraph, telephone and railway dispatch offices are all burned out and no wire communication can be had with the village. The fire started in the rear of HARRIS & CHAPIN'S hardware store about 1:30 a.m. and burned till 3:30 o'clock. Among the buildings destroyed are:
CHAMBERLAIN'S block, dry goods and grocery store.
HARRIS & CHAPIN'S hardware store.
WEAVER'S furniture and undertaking establishment.
B. C. MARTIN'S dry goods and grocery store.
The ARNOLD Hotel.
The BARNES House.
Odd Fellows Hall.
DR. TUGTUIS' drug store, and a number of dwellings. The loss will be about $75,000.

Oakfield - which was originally known as Cary or Caryville - had a population of over 1,000 when the first recorded store opened in 1833 by Colonel Alfred Cary.

The village's name was changed to Plain Brook in 1837 and was soon after changed to Oakfield. The first village meeting was held in August of 1887.

There is a fascinating piece written on the history of Oakfield here.

March 2, 2009 - 12:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

BATAVIA, N.Y. Units have been dispatched to 3207 Pratt Road for a reported trailer fire. Medics are responding, as well.

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UPDATE: 2:12 p.m.: Minor fire. According to Asst. Chief  David Winters, the homeowner was trying to heat frozen water pipes with a propane salamander heater when flames shot from it and ignited the underside of the trailer. The fire was contained to under the trailer. There were no injuries.

February 18, 2009 - 11:29am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Le Roy, fire, emergency.

We've received reports of a car fire on Munson Street in downtown LeRoy near Genesee Valley BOCES. Emergency crews have been dispatched, but I would steer clear of driving through that area for the next hour or so.

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February 12, 2009 - 11:37am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Le Roy, fire, emergency.

We've received reports of a possible fire at Stella's Collision on East Main Road in LeRoy. Reports on the scanner indicate smoke in the building. Fire crews from LeRoy, Caledonia and Pavilion have been dispatched. We will update as more information becomes available. 

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Update (11:45 a.m.): Additional manpower has been requested to the scene as a second alarm was just sounded over the scanner.

Update (1:05 p.m.): LeRoy dispatch reports that all crews have returned to base. No fire was present on scene. Firefighters reported a haze in the building that was not exactly smoke, but the cause of the disturbance has not yet been identified.

February 2, 2009 - 5:19pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire, emergency, Erie County.

A Gasport man was taken to the hospital this afternoon after suffering burns to his head, face, neck and hands when a fire broke out in a barn in the town of Batavia, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Twenty-nine-year-old James Putnam Jr. is recovering in the burn unit of the Erie County Medical Center at this hour.

Fire crews from the East Pemrboke volunteer squad were the first on scene at 9161 Wilkinson Road, where reports had come in shortly after 12:30 p.m. of a fire in the storage barn. Firefighters found flames coming out of the structure when they arrived shortly thereafter. Putnam was immediately taken to the hospital by city of Batavia ambulance.

Batavia, Darien, Alexander, Corfu, Oakfield and Elba also sent crews to the scene, and the fire was extinguished before it spread to an unattached house. The barn and everything inside of it were destroyed in the blaze. The barn is owned by Gabriele J. Miller, of 9161 Wilkinson Road.

"The preliminary investigation into the cause and origin of the fire indicates that the fire is accidental and was a result of the work that was being performed inside the workshop at the time of the fire," deputies said. Genesee County's Office of Emergency Management assisted in the investigation

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January 30, 2009 - 11:32am
posted by Philip Anselmo in fire, Bethany, emergency.

We have yet to receive word on the extent of the damage to a home in Bethany that caught fire early this morning. But these few photos taken at the scene about an hour ago show that the home—at least, the half of it where the fire broke out—is essentially destroyed.

January 30, 2009 - 7:22am
posted by Philip Anselmo in sheriff, fire, Bethany, emergency.

The cause of a fire that damaged a home in the town of Bethany overnight is still under investigation, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Fire crews first got the call at 2:25 a.m., this morning, that a chimney fire had broken out at the home at 4588 Conway Road in Bethany. There was one occupant at home, and she was able to get out safely. 

Firefighters could see the flames from a distance as they arrived on scene. No injuries were reported. The Bethany Volunteer Fire Department is being aided by several surrounding departments, including Alexander, Batavia, Stafford, Pavilion, Wyoming, Warsaw, Attica, South Byron and LeRoy.

No reports yet of the extent of the damage. An article this morning in the Democrat & Chronicle reports that firefighters were still on scene at 6:30 a.m., and heavy fire damage is apparent.

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January 27, 2009 - 1:21pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in fire, emergency.

Several engines in Genesee County have already been dispatched to a house fire at 6714 Brownell Road, off Route 19, near Pavilion. The Batavian is heading out now to find out more. 

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(Updated at 2:15pm): No injuries have yet been reported at the scene of this house fire. Plenty of crews were on hand from areas in and around Genesee County. At least a dozen engines, trucks and emergency vehicles were lined up outside the residence. The fire seemed mainly confined to the back corner of the house, where flames chewed through the back wall.

We will update with more information as it becomes available. Also check back for more photos and a brief video clip of the scene.

(Updated at 3:30pm): It doesn't look like we'll be getting any specifics on this fire until morning, according to the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management. What we can say right now is what we can see.

Now, I'm not exactly sure where this home is located. Google shows this as Wyoming, but it's in the Pavilion fire district and just outside of Pavilion Center. Yet, on the scanner, I heard reports that this is actually the town of Covington.

At the scene earlier this afternoon, there were no reports of any injuries, and fire damage seemed to be confined to the back of the house. Crews from Pavilion, Wyoming, even as far off as York, lined the street out front of the home on Brownell Road and stretched in either direction on Wyoming Road, as well. We first heard reports of the fire shortly after one o'clock, and some crews on scene were already being dismissed by shortly after two o'clock. I would assume the large turnout helped keep everything under control and get the fire tackled as fast as it had been.

As soon as we have more details, we will be sure to pass them along.

January 25, 2009 - 11:24am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire department, fire, emergency.

From the Batavia City Fire Department:

City of Batavia firefighters were kept very busy for hours with back-to-back house fires in the city, Saturday night beginning at 10:22 PM.

The first alarm came in for 12 Elm Street with report of a possible explosion and flames showing Within three minutes, city firefighters arrived on scene and quickly extinguished a fire that was found in the side stairwell of the three-story apartment house. Four residents were alerted by smoke detector and were safely outside the structure when the firefighters arrived. Firefighters performed a search and rescue for a fifth resident, thought to be on the third story. After searching the apartment, it was determined that the resident was gone for the evening. Damage was confined to the stairwell. The home was ventilated for smoke removal. The American Red Cross provided the residents with temporary accomodations. Total damage was estimated at $2,500. The cause is under investigation.

While still on scene at the Elm Street fire, a second fire alarm was called in for a house fire located at 45 Walnut Street. With a two-minute response time, the firefighters arrived to find flames coming from the windows of the two-apartment structure.

A general alarm of fire was made to all off duty city firefighters as well as a mutual aid request to the town of Batavia Fire Department. The town supplied an engine and a rescue truck to the scene and a second engine to stand by at City Fire Headquarters. The fire was declared under control in approximately 25 minutes.

The homeowner smelled smoke and discovered the fire in the ceiling above a wood stove. He alerted the other occupants and all escaped safely before firefighters arrived. The American Red Cross was also able to assist the occupants of this second fire of the night.

The home was completely gutted with a damage estimate of approximately $50,000.

Fortunately, there were no injuries to residents or firefighters in either fire with fire crews returning to quarters at 2:20 AM.

January 25, 2009 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

Firefighters were battling a blaze at 12 Elm St. Saturday night, when a second alarm was sounded for a fire at 45 Walnut St., according to a report in the Democrat & Chronicle.

The Elm St. fire caused an estimated $2,500 damage to a multil-family complex, 

The two-apartment building on Walnut was gutted, causing an estimated $50,000 in damage.

Off-duty firefighters and units from the Town of Batavia were called in to help Walnut St. blaze, which took 25 minutes to suppress.


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January 22, 2009 - 10:24am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, fire, emergency, Pauly's Pizza.

Hats off to Jay Lynch and the Genesee County Fire Wire for picking up a second place grab in the International Association of Fire Fighters Media Awards Contest. Lynch won in the category of "Fire service photo on a Web site" for this shot of city of "Batavia Fire Department Lieutenant Mark Mikolajczyk pulling down the ceiling during overhaul operations at 39 Washington Avenue."

From the press release:

Each year the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) holds their “Media Awards Contest”. The Media Awards Contest honors communications, reporting and photography that best portray the professional and dangerous work of fire fighters and emergency medical personnel in the United States and Canada.

These awards recognize the exceptional work by IAFF affiliates who serve a vital role in their communities while generating public awareness for fire fighters. The stories and photos entered also bring to light important issues that affect the welfare of fire fighters throughout North America.

The 2008 Media Awards Contest entries are made up of many categories including print, internet, and video media. City of Batavia IAFF Local 896 entered several photos in following categories:  “News Photo With A Circulation Under 100,000” and “Fire Service Photo On A Web Site”.

That seems like quite an honor for Lynch and the Fire Wire. Congratulations!

The Daily News also picked up a nod. A photo of fire fighters tackling a blaze at Pauly's Pizza received honorable mention.

Honorable mentions ... are used in the IAFF’s Burn Foundation Calendar. The Burn Foundation is dedicated to burn prevention and education, burn research and improving the quality of life for burn survivors. It was created in 1982 and is the largest non-government source for burn research grants and the sponsor of the annual IAFF National Children’s Burn Camp, held each fall in Washington, DC. The Batavia local of the IAFF is proud to have the Daily News photo included for the 2009 IAFF Burn Foundation Fundraising Calendar.

You can purchase a calendar at the IAFF Web store.

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