Brenden Carney awoke early this morning to the sound of somebody banging on the back door. It didn't take him long to figure out what was going on.
"I knew right away the barn was on fire and I started checking the house because I could feel the heat," Carney said.
A passing trucker spotted the fire and stopped and alerted Carney and his family.
The alert truck driver and prevailing winds blowing east helped protect the house and Carney's wife, daughter and two dogs, who all got out of the house safely. The house was not damaged.
The fire was reported just before 3 a.m. at 4658 Telephone Road, Bethany. Bethany fire along with Alexander, Darien, Attica, Pavilion, Town of Batavia, Bennington, Wyoming and City of Batavia's Fast Team all responded. Stafford provided fill in at Bethany's Hall.
The response was fast, but the barn was already gone by the time the first fire chiefs arrived on scene.
"The structure was full involved when we arrived," said John Szymkowiak, 2nd assistant chief for Bethany fire. "There was nothing there but the frame."
The Carney family lost a barn they had fully restored and turned into a rec room along with a lot of personal belongings.
"We lost a lot of equipment," Carney said. "Ski boat, sail boat, snowmobiles, tractors, you name it. Compressors. Generators. All my hunting equipment. Fishing. I made my own handmade rods. Shotguns."
There was a two-year-old roof on the barn, new cabinets and Corian counters inside.
"It was nice," he said. "There were a lot of memories and a lot of work done to it, too."
Carney was thankful his family was safe, but he was also grateful to the truck driver, who also saved Carney's work truck.
"The keys were in it," Carney said. "He said it was too close, gotta leave it, and I said leave it, leave it, but he jumped in and moved it out. All of my work tools are in there."
Water had to be trucked in since there are no fire hydrants in that area, which created a water supply problem, Szymkowiak said, but there was a good coordinated response from the mutual aid companies, he said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
As of 7 a.m., many of the mutual aid companies had returned to service, but Bethany fire remained on scene.
UPDATE 7:32 a.m.: Bethany fire is back in service. Route 20 is reopened.