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Monday, July 7, 2014 at 6:32 am

Truck on its side on Route 63 at Little Canada Road

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

A 10-wheeler is on its side on Route 63 near Little Canada Road.

No word on injuries.

Bethany fire and Stafford fire dispatched.

UPDATE 9:45 a.m.: According to Deputy Cory Mower, it appears the weight of gravel in the bed of the truck shifted causing the driver to lose control rounding the curve just north of Fargo Road. The estimated speed of the truck was 40 to 45 mph. At 8:45 a.m., it was expected it would take at least another hour before Route 63 was reopened. At this time, it's still closed. There were no injuries.

Friday, July 4, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Farm building in Bethany used for storage destroyed by fire

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, fire

It was just a storage shed. Some straw. Some sawdust. Bedding for the animals on a farm started by Michael Adams and his family in 1979.

The family built that shed. The first one of the Adams Farm property. Talking to Michael Adams after fire reduced the structure to rubble, you could see those remembrances pass before the long gaze of his eyes.

“Everything here got built by my brother, my dad, myself, my kids, my wife, everybody that’s come along through here," Adams said. "We tried to do all the work ourselves." He paused. "I look at it and start thinking about the days we were building it and, know you. …What can you do?”

The fire at 5664 Little Canada Road, Bethany, was reported at just before 2:40 p.m., but by then it was already too late.

“We were fixing a hose in the shop and came out, just got done with it, sent the neighbor back home with it, our tenant actually, back home with the hose," Adams said. "Came around the corner and looked and seen black smoke coming out the one corner of the barn there and that’s when I called 9-1-1 and tried to get down there and see if there was anything I could do but I couldn’t even get near it. It was already hotter than hot, you know."

The Adams farm specializes in replacement heifers for dairy farms and has about 60 head of beef cattle. The farm also grows corn, soybeans and a little bit of hay, Adams said.

Bethany Assistant Chief Jeff Pietrzykowski, today's scene commander, was in the city when he got the dispatch for the fire. Pietrzykowski could see the smoke column all the way down Ellicott Street. He immediately put out a second alarm for Stafford Fire to respond as well.

The first firefighters on scene found flames leaping from the windows and the roof was already gone.

"Our top priority was keeping it from the other buildings," Pietrzykowski said. "There was heavy fire. It was almost on the ground when we got here, but we were worried it was going to spread."

With no public water in the area, tankers were needed to haul water from a nearby pond.

Mutual aid departments included Alexander, City of Batavia, Town of Batavia, Le Roy and Pavilion.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

"It’s just like everything else around here, probably way under-insured, you know," Adams said. "Maybe we can put something smaller up if possible, but just to store our bedding and whatnot -- for the cattle mostly, that’s what it’s used for."

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Friday, July 4, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Big barn fire on Little Canada Road, Bethany

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire

A barn fire is reported at 5664 Little Canada Road, Bethany. It was called in by the homeowner. It has already gone to the second alarm. Bethany Fire Department is responding. Howard, en route but still in the city, says "I can see it from here." Alexander is called to the scene and to fill in at Bethany's Fire Hall. The city's Fast Team is called along with the Town of Batavia, Le Roy, Stafford and Pavilion.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Command reports the burning structure is a metal pole barn and the fire will likely be contained to that structure.

UPDATE 2:47 p.m.: The first platoon is called to city fire headquarters.

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: The third platoon is called to stand by in city headquarters.

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: The location is between Fargo and Torrey roads.

UPDATE 3:32 p.m.: The fire still has small flames in a few areas and hot spots but appears to be under control, according to Howard at the scene. The area is still very smoky. The pole barn contained no equipment. It was used to store cattle feed and bedding. The operation there raises beef cattle and replacement heifers, plus corn, soybeans and some hay. A crew from Wyoming Correctional Facility will be arriving sometime in the next hour or so to help out.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: Howard interviewed the farmer, Michael Adams, who runs the operation along with his wife, Noreen, and their children. They've owned the property since 1978. It's a little over 500 acres on what was once all corn fields. Of this afternoon's blaze, which totaled the barn built in 1979, Michael said:

“We were fixing a hose in the shop and came out, just got done with it, sent the neighbor back home with it, our tenant actually, back home with the hose. Came around the corner and looked and seen black smoke coming out the one corner of the barn there and that’s when I called 9-1-1 and tried to get down there and see if there was anything I could do but I couldn’t even get near it. It was already hotter than hot, you know."

More T/K

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: The Bethany assignment is back in service.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 9:51 am

Photos: Horses and a fallen barn

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany

It's been a while since I went on an early morning drive around Genesee County looking for photos to make, so I got up this morning at the crack of dawn and went for a drive. There was a lot more cloud cover most of the morning than I would like, but I did come back with these two pictures. Above, three horses at Baskin Livestock on Creek Road, and below, a fallen barn on Silver Road.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Wires down, large grass fire on Clipnock Road

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire, Stafford

Power lines are down and there is a large grass fire at 9267 Clipnock Road, near Sweetland Road. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are responding. National Grid is notified.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Transformer on fire, power lines down at Old East Bethany Road and Ellicott Street Road

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire

A transformer is on fire at Old East Bethany Road and Ellicott Street Road. All three primary power lines are also down in the roadway and arcing. Bethany Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 2:14 p.m.: National Grid is notified.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: On off-duty law enforcement officer reports the fire is out, but the power lines are blocking the roadway.

Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Lawnmower fire near a structure on Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire, Stafford

A lawnmower fire near a structure is reported at 5461 Ellicott Street Road. Stafford and Bethany fire departments are responding.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 11:34 am

Motorcyclist crashes after striking deer in Bethany

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany

A motorcyclist struck a deer on Route 63, near Clapsaddle Road, in Bethany. Bethany and Stafford fire departments and Mercy medics are dispatched.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: Mercy Flight will be responding. Firefighters have to set up the landing zone.

UPDATE 12:47 p.m.: The landing zone will be at the self-storage facility at Route 63 and Stafford Batavia Town Line Road.

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.: The rider was transported by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, mainly as a precaution for a possible head injury. He was wearing a DOT-approved half-helmut. He was riding about 55 mph on southbound Route 63 when a deer ran into the side of his motorcycle, throwing him off the bike and onto the roadway. The bike continued southbound and came to rest off the east shoulder of the roadway. The button buck did not survive the crash.

Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 8:20 am

Clarification: Part of Bethany home owner's complaint is that town pumped water onto his property

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany

In our story Thursday about Jerald Shea and the winter flooding of his property, we failed to clearly state that part of Mr. Shea's complaint is that the town pumped water onto his property.

Mr. Shea feels this is a significant action by the town that contributed to the damage to his house.

Bethany Highway Superintendent Paul Fleming confirmed the town did pump the water, however, it was to prevent Paradise Road from flooding. The drainage pipe under Paradise Road was frozen solid, Fleming said, so instead of the water flowing under the road as it normally would, it flowed over the road. Either way, Fleming said, the water would flow south to north onto Mr. Shea's property.

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm

GCC photography students display environmental portraits at Interpretive Center in Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, GCC, Interpretive Center

Photography students at Genesee Community College have created a series of photographs called "environmental portraits." The photos are currently on display at Genesee County Park and Forest Interpretive Center in Bethany. Above, students Jason Dieter and Lynn Homer hold examples of their work during a reception held this evening.

The students were assigned to photograph a subject in an environment that helped illuminate that subject's life and surroundings.

"Creating a portrait of a subject in its natural surroundings adds elements to their character, and therefore portrays the essence of their personality, rather than merely a likeness of their physical features," said instructor Joe Ziolkowski. 

The works will be on display through August.

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