There is still no clue investigators can point to that offers even a hint of how a fire started in a garage at 12 Adams St., Batavia, on Sunday night.
There was no electricity nor any other source of ignition in the area of the garage where the fire started. There are no marks on the floor to suggest an accelerant was used by an arsonist (though that in itself doesn't rule out a deliberate fire). Interviews with neighbors have failed to produce any leads.
"So far, we can't figure out what started it," said Capt. Craig Williams, Batavia Fire Department. "It may go down as undetermined."
It will be at least a week before the investigation is completed, Williams said. By then, maybe investigators will have solved the mystery.
The three-car garage was owned by 87-year-old Ken Currier, who spent 30 years working as a mechanic and 25 years building houses, said his son Jerry Currier.
"He had everything you need to work on cars and pretty much everything you needed to work on houses and it's all gone," Currier said.
Among the items lost, two big tool boxes, filled with tools, a milling machine, lathe, band saw and compressors.
Currier and his brother own a contracting business, but didn't work out of the garage. They have their own facility on Route 98, although they do regularly park a work truck at the Adams Street residence.
"We pretty much meet there every morning and have coffee with my parents before heading out to the job," Currier said.
The garage was insured, Currier said, and will be replaced with one just like it.
"Thank God we have a good insurance company," he said. "The adjuster was here yesterday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 at night going over everything," Currier said. "The little section that didn't burn was so smoke and heat and water damaged that it's a total loss."
UPDATE, Thursday morning: Yesterday, we couldn't reach Det. Rich Schauf, Batavia PD, who is assisting in the investigation. Schauf reiterated this is likely to be a fire of an undetermined cause. He said there are numerous accidental possibilities, such as an old battery overheating, so just because the final determination is undetermined doesn't mean it was anything other than accidental.
The process of elimination pretty much rules out a deliberately set fire, he said. The location of the fire would mean that a person would have had to enter the garage, move stuff, start the fire, and then put stuff back. That's an unlikely scenario for anybody who might have a reason to start such a fire. There would be easier and safer ways to start a fire.
"I would never say it was a set fire," Schauf said. "There are too many other things that could have been accidental in that fire."
Previously: Garage fire reported on Adams Street, Batavia