UPDATED 11:01 p.m.
Thirty-five years ago, William Scheg built himself a dream home -- doing most of the work himself.
Out among the flat farm fields and game-rich woods of rural eastern Genesee County, Scheg build a log-cabin construction home where he would eventually open a business -- Genesee Valley Taxidermy & Shooting Supplies.
Late Saturday afternoon, Scheg was in the woods near his York Road home when a fire started in the garage.
"I heard some shots and I thought it was the neighbors target practicing," Scheg said. "Then I heard more shots and the whole woods filled up with smoke. I kind of got this empty feeling in me and thought what might be happening. I got the road and saw the inevitable. It was all on fire."
By that time, firefighters from several companies were on scene and the house was fully engulfed.
The fire was initially reported at 4:50 p.m. by Frank Capuano, a retired city firefighter who was driving down York Road and spotted smoke coming from the garage of 9616 York Road, Le Roy. Upon further investigation, he confirmed the fire and called 9-1-1.
Just five minutes earlier another man on his way to work as a clerk at a gas station on Route 5 drove by the same house -- which he knows because he's known Scheg since the clerk was a little boy -- and he didn't see a thing.
The fire was well advanced by the time crews from Le Roy Fire arrived on scene and it spread quickly as crews struggled to get a reliable source of water to fight the fire.
Tanker trucks were sent to the nearest fire hydrant, at Route 5 and York Road, two miles to the north, where they could fill up and shuttle water to the scene. Water was also drawn from the pond on the property.
Assistant Fire Chief Thomas "Woody" Woods said water supply was the biggest problem firefighters faced in battling the blaze.
There was some concern about the ammo in the gun shop when crews first arrived.
"You could hear the popping from the ammo going off, so we kept back," Woods said.
According to property tax records, the home was valued at $168,900, and was 2,070 square feet on 1.22 acres.
Scheg lived in the home with his wife Margaret. She was also out of the house at the time of the fire. Their dogs were able to get out of the house before the fire trapped them and were taken in by a neighbor. The Schegs also had some pet birds who perished in the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
As of 11 p.m., some fire crews were still on scene, though some crews were back in service.
Responding to the fire were Le Roy, Pavilion, Caledonia, York, Stafford, Bergen, and Le Roy Ambulance, Genesee County Emergency Management and the Sheriff's Office. The Town of Batavia Fire Department filled in at Le Roy's fire hall.
More pictures after the jump: