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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Tree and power lines on fire on Genesee Street

post by Billie Owens in east pembroke, fire

A tree and power lines are reportedly on fire at 2378 Genesee St. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: National Grid is being contacted.

UPDATE 6:27 p.m.: A responder says there are three primary lines down across the roadway, two of which are covered by a large tree limb. There is a confirmed power outage in the immediate area as a result. National Grid is aware but no ETA given.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Only eastbound traffic will be allowed to continue traveling.

UPDATE 7:48 p.m.: East Pembroke is back in service. National Grid is on scene fixing the problem.

Monday, June 9, 2014 at 8:35 am

Photos: Truck fire yesterday on Batavia Elba TL Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

Town of Batavia Fire Chief Paul Barrett submitted these photos of yesterday's truck fire on Batavia Elba Town Line Road.

Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 1:38 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.

Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

Fire on roof at Flying J Travel Plaza, Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke

A fire on the roof, near an air-conditioning unit, is reported at the Flying J Travel Plaza. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding along with Corfu and the city's Fast Team. The fourth platoon is called to stand by in city quarters. The building is evacuated. A first responder on scene reports nothing showing. Command says units already on the road can continue emergency mode.

UPDATE 10:58 a.m.: Fire appears to be out.

UPDATE 11:11: A code enforcement officer is on scene.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Corfu is back in service.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: Pembroke command says they are picking up and will be leaving the scene shortly.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Neighboring buildings unharmed by fire that destroyed long-standing Pavilion structure

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion

If one picture could tell a story, this would be it. The eastern exposure of Country Hill Gifts with its second-story flower box completely unharmed by a fully involved fire that destroyed the former grocery store building at the corner of Ellicott Street Road and West Park Street. There's no real damage to the entire eastern exposure.

And the building to the north of the destroyed building is also fine.

Chad Freeman said today once the fire started, it was largely fought defensively with a mind toward saving the neighboring structures.

The cause was likely electrical with a line arcing, causing insulation in the second floor ceiling to smoke and burn until air hit it, giving fuel to the fire.

Freeman noted that the first floor was almost completely undamaged by the fire. The building was too heavily damaged, however, and last night an excavator had to knock it down.

This afternoon, crews were on scene to pump water from the basement of Country Hill, but there was even very little smell of smoke in the store.

The two items below were posted to the Pavilion, New York Facebook page by Jay Brooks. A bit of the store's history.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Manure pile on fire on Marble Road

post by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke

A manure pile is on fire at 8122 Marble Road, according to a farm hand there. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. The location is between Akron and Gabbey roads.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: The site is next to the alpaca farm. A responder on scene says "it's smokin' pretty good."

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Fire is out. Indian Falls is back in service.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Pembroke is back in service.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 8:23 am

Fire spread quickly in Pavilion building even as firefighters poured water on the flames

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion

After nearly an hour on scene in Pavilion yesterday, I told a chief things seemed under control and I was heading back home to my yard work.

At that point, the two-story commercial and residential structure at the corner of Ellicott Street Road and West Park Street looked fine. There was a faint whiff of smoke in the air, but no smoke showing and certainly no visible fire.

"You might want to stick around," the chief said.

A firefighter told me a few minutes later as he laid out hose from a tanker truck, "this could get really interesting really fast."

Later the chief would tell me, "see, my worst fears came true."

The origin of the fire was in the crawl space of the attic. An area covered in hard wood, spray-in installation and only 18 inches of space in any direction.

First Assistant Chief Sean Vogt said his crew was poking through the ceiling, trying to find the right access point to the smoldering fire and Le Roy's crew had punched a ventilation hole in the roof, then the fire took on a life of its own.

"If we we could have gotten up there, gotten our hose lines up there, wetted it down, maybe we could have saved a little more of the building, but with it going through the roof, it just flashed over on us too fast," Vogt said. "It was just rough."

Pavilion's volunteer firefighters responded to the structure at 2:40 p.m. for the report of smoke in the building. Le Roy was immediately requested to the scene. Soon, responses from Bethany and Stafford were requested as well, then Bergen.

By the time fire broke out, there were two ladder trucks in position (Town of Batavia had its ladder in place minutes after the first flame erupted through the roof).

Even with Le Roy shooting water at the first flames, the blaze spread quickly once it got going.

As big and as destructive as the fire became, firefighters did manage to contain it to the one building, even though a house sat inches from the north wall and another commercial building was only two or three feet to the west.

County records do not list what year the building was constructed, but the west wall was covered in the same faux-brick metal siding that show up in 150-year-old photos of the former Wiss Hotel in Le Roy (the last building standing that I know of in Genesee County with this siding is in Corfu).

As many as 200 firefighters from Genesee, Livingstone and Wyoming counties responded to the fire. 

While the responding fire trucks can pump at least 1,250 gallons of water per minute, the fire hydrants in Pavilion flow at no more than 450 gallons per minute. At least a dozen tanker trucks responded to the scene to draw water from a nearby creek to provide additional water flow.

At least two firefighters were overcome by smoke and heat and were transported by Mercy EMS to area hospitals for evaluation.

Initially, while the fire was just smoldering, residents of the apartments were able to retrieve some belongings. The residents of the house to the north rescued their cat before the smoke got heavy.

Red Cross was on scene to provide food and beverages for firefighters.

(Initial Report)

To purchase prints, click here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Little mulch fire in front of Tops in Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A small mulch fire is reported outside Tops Market in Batavia near Lewiston Road. City firefighters are responding.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Possible fire in apartment above bakery and deli in Pavilion

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A possible fire is reported at 6946 Ellicott Street Road in an apartment above the Heavenly Sweets Bakery & Deli. Pavilion Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Le Roy. The caller is a resident who came home and found the smell of something burning inside the building and a light haze.

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: The first responder on scene reports nothing showing.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: This is now a working structure fire. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are called to the scene and Stafford is also requested to provide a fill-in engine and crew for the Pavilion Fire Hall.

UPDATE 3:06 p.m.: A Mercy medic unit is requested to come in non-emergency in case needed.

UPDATE 3:09 p.m.: The city's Fast Team is requested to respond.

UPDATE 3:14 p.m.: The city's first platoon is called to stand by in its headquarters.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Heavy smoke is reported in the attic.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.: Firefighters are informed that the attic runs the length of the entire building, which is quite large.

UPDATE 3:34 p.m.: The roof has been opened up but only light haze is coming out. Bergen is asked to fill in at Le Roy Fire Station.

UPDATE 3:41 p.m.: Confirmed that all occupants are out of the building.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Calendonia fire is on scene to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: More smoke is filling the second floor. They are going to draw water from Hanson's crick.

UPDATE 4:01 p.m.: Although there are no flames visible, command is still concerned about the potential for combustion. The building's sprayed insulation is smoldering and causing much of the smoke, which makes it difficult for firefighters to see inside.

UPDATE 4:08 p.m.: York firefighters are on scene and establishing a draft site.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: A Sheriff's deputy is called to the scene to secure firearms.

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: Town of Batavia's fill-in crew is requested to the scene. Heavy black smoke is pouring from the roof where they opened it up.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: All interior firefighters are told to get out. Now they're going to open up the side of the building.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: The color of the smoke spewing out the windows is changing color, reports a firefighter. South Byron fire is asked to stage in their quarters.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Darien, East Pembroke and Elba firefighters are asked to man their ladder tanker trucks and stand by in their own quarters in case needed at the scene or anywhere in Genesee County.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Firefighters are ordered off the roof. Another Bethany crew is asked to stand by in their hall.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: Interior firefighters from Alexander are asked to stage in their quarters. Flames are said to be visible.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: National Grid has shut off power to the burning building and the one next to it.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: National Fuel reps are on scene and are asked to shut off the gas lines(s) to the buildings at the street.

UPDATE 5:17 p.m.: A second Mercy rig is asked to stand by at the fire scene.

UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: Some standby tankers are called in, plus another South Byron crew is told to report to their hall. All staging for fire crews is being moved to the front of the bank. Barre fire is asked to stand by in Barre's hall.

UPDATE 5:37: Town of Batavia's Rescue 20 and all available interior manpower called in.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m.: The second story is completely gutted and the building is a total loss. Heavy equipment is en route to raze the structure. A crew from Wyoming Correctional Facility is on scene to help with clean-up. A pet cat was rescued.

Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 8:41 am

Truck fire reported on the Thruway near GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, thruway

A tractor-trailer fire is reported on the Thruway near the rock cut by Genesee Community College.

Smoke and flames coming from the cab, according to the initial caller.

The truck is believed to be in the westbound lane.

Town of Batavia fire dispatched.

UPDATE 8:44 a.m.: Call back from the driver. It's near mile marker 387 in the eastbond lane. The driver reports the fire knocked down, but there's still smoke in the cab. The saddle tank was damaged by the fire. It's still smoldering. There is a fuel leak.

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