House fire in East Bethany
Submitted by Howard Owens on January 26, 2010 - 9:58am
A house at 5823 E. Bethany-Le Roy Road, East Bethany, is reportedly on fire.
Callers report the house is fully involved.
East Bethany, Stafford and Alexender were dispatched on the first alarm. A second alarm is being initiated.
UPDATE 10 a.m. (on scene): The house appears to be a total loss even while firefighters continue to battle the blaze. The owner was not at home and has been contacted. She lived alone and said nobody else would have been in the house. The fire appears to have started in the area of a wood stove. The stairwell to the second floor was engulfed and firefighters were forced to leave the interior of the house. Without interior firefighters, it's become a much harder fire to fight.
UPDATE 10:22 a.m.: The owner of the home is Louise Ward, 58. She is on scene and confirmed with officials that no other people were in the house. There were, however, a dog and two cats inside.
UPDATE 12:06 p.m.: We left the scene about an hour ago, but spoke with Fire Coordinator Tim Yaeger before leaving. Yaeger confirmed that firefighters were inside for about 10 or 15 minutes before the integrity of the stairway was compromised. From that point on, the volunteers were required to fight the fire from the exterior only. He called the house a total loss. Yaeger anticipated it would be hours before the fire would be extinguished, and it may require bringing in heavy equipment to knock down parts of the structure. The dog and two cats were believed to have died in the fire. The fire appears to have started in the wood stove area. Volunteer fire departments from throughout the eastern part of Genesee County responded to the fire, including (but not limited to), Bethany, East Bethany, Pavilion, Alexander, Le Roy and Bergen.
UPDATE 12:23 p.m.
Mobile phone video submitted by a reader at the scene:
UPDATE 2:09 p.m.: It sounds like most of the remaining units are going back in service. Tim Yaeger and his staff are back in service.
More pictures after the jump (below the map):