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Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 6:57 am

Fire on Davis Avenue claims life of 87-year-old resident

post by Howard Owens in batavia, fire

Davis Avenue is a quiet street tucked in a corner of Batavia between Franklin Avenue and Williams Park.

The residents tend to be homeowners who have lived on Davis as neighbors for many years. They all know each other, said Officer Darryl Streeter.

As word spread early this morning that 87-year-old George A. McConnell did not make it out of his house at 10 Davis Ave. before the back of the structure became engulfed in flames, the shock and grief was apparent among the neighbors who watched the scene on a cold and snowy night.

"It's a very tough situation," Streeter said moments after comforting a neighbor.

Streeter was the first emergency responder on scene. He found George's wife, Candace, on the back porch trying to get out.

"I made entry into the house and got to the main kitchen, living room area and tried to make it upstairs but the smoke was too intense," Streeter said. "I stepped out, tried it a second time, but I just couldn't get any further than the kitchen itself."

At that point firefighters arrived and the back area of the second floor -- where George's bedroom was located -- was fully engulfed in flames.

The fire was knocked down in less than 20 minutes but firefighters found it difficult to make entry into the house because of what Chief Jim Maxwell characterized as "clutter." 

"It was quite a chore getting through everything," Maxwell said.

The cause or origin of the fire has not yet been determined.

Candace McConnell, who is 61, was uninjured and was taken in and being assisted by a neighbor.

George McConnell was born Dec. 25, 1925.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 3:16 am

House in flames, man trapped upstairs, on Davis Avenue in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A house fire with a man trapped inside upstairs is reported on Davis Avenue in the City of Batavia. It was called in as a living room on fire. The house is filled with smoke and a responder on scene says flames are showing. A female was able to get out the back door, but her husband remains upstairs. Mercy medics are responding along with city fire and police. Smoke is now reported coming from the upstairs rear of the house.

UPDATE 2:16 a.m.: The second, third and fourth platoons are called in.

UPDATE 2:17 a.m.: The Alexander Fire Department's Fast Team is called.

UPDATE 2:20 a.m.: Darien fire's cascade equipment is called in and Town of Batavia is asked to stand by in its quarters. A second ambulance is requested.

UPDATE 2:22 a.m.: City command reports high temperatures inside the house, which is filled with smoke. Additional manpower is called to handle traffic.

UPDATE 2:24 a.m.: The traffic detail is for Alexander, to direct traffic at routes 20 and 98.

UPDATE 2:29 a.m.: Most of the fire is knocked down, but flames are still showing on one side of the house. The man has not been extricated. Flames are going through the roof in the center of the structure. Davis Avenue is between Williams Park and Franklin Street.

UPDATE 2:39 a.m.: Firefighters were able to gain access to the upstairs about five minutes ago.

UPDATE 2:43 a.m.: The fire is knocked down. They are starting to overhaul the structure.

UPDATE 2:46 a.m.: National Grid has arrived to cut power off, but can't access the scene yet because of the number of fire engines there.

UPDATE 4:15 a.m. (by Howard): George A. McConnell, 87, did not survive the fire. He was in bed on the second floor of the house in the rear where the structure sustained the heaviest damage. He was unable to get out and the area was heavily involved in fire and smoke by the time the first crews were on scene. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. McConnell's wife, Candace, 61, was not injured. A full story is coming.

UPDATE 4:21 a.m. (by Howard): Fire command is requesting six cat carriers to help contain multiple cats. Animal control is not yet on duty. Dispatchers will see what they can do.

UPDATE 4:24 a.m.: Darien fire is clearing the city's scene. The chief is returning to the Route 20 accident. The truck is returning to have its cascade system topped off.

UPDATE 4:53 a.m.: Photos below submitted by Frank Capuano.

UPDATE 5:15 a.m.: Town of Batavia going back in service.

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Cause of the Baskin Livestock fire not yet determined

post by Howard Owens in Baskin Livestock, Bethany, business, fire

There isn't much new to report from the overnight fire at Baskin Livestock in Bethany.  I was out to the property this afternoon and firefighters were on scene dealing with hotspots and flare-ups.

Bethany Fire Chief Jeff Fluker hadn't even been home since arriving on scene shortly after 11 p.m. last night. He started to leave early this morning and then there was a small fire that broke out in the cyclone (it separates packaging from discarded baked goods).

I interviewed Fluker, but my phone died in the middle of the conversation, so no direct quotes here, working off memory.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

The main structure is largely intact, but it's too soon to estimate the extent of the damage and how much of the feed-processing equipment was damaged, but some of it was damaged.

We spoke about the water supply, which was definitely a problem, but for a fire this size, he said, with three ladder trucks going, even a public water supply would have a hard time keeping up. It takes 10 tanker trucks to service one ladder truck.

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 1:07 am

Big rig hauling livestock reportedly on fire on westbound Thruway

post by Billie Owens in fire

A tractor-trailer hauling livestock is reportedly on fire on the westbound Thruway. It's near mile marker 380.5 and was initially reported as a brake fire, but now the rear end of the vehicle is said to be fully involved.

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 12:05 am

Structure fire at 9778 Creek Road, Bethany

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Bethany, fire

A fully involved structure fire is reported at 9778 Creek Road in Bethany. Bethany and Town of Batavia fire departments are responding. It is near Putnam Road.

UPDATE 11:07 p.m.: Mutual aid is called from Byron, Alexander, Pavilion, Stafford, the City Fast Team, and others.

UPDATE 11:30 p.m.: Calls are out for East Pembroke, Le Roy, and Elba.

UPDATE 11:34 p.m.: A tanker from York is called to the scene and an engine from there to the Bethany hall, along with the same equipment from Caledonia. National Grid is notified about power lines at the site and there's a 15-20 minute ETA.

UPDATE 11:45 p.m.: The lack of public water is hampering the firefighting efforts at Baskin Farms and the main structure(s) on the property are in peril. South Byron is also on scene and National Grid has arrived.

UPDATE 12:24 a.m.: Oakfield is at Town of Batavia Fire Hall filling in. National Grid has cut all power to the grounds. A tanker out of Gainsville, Wyoming County, is called to the scene.

UPDATE 12:27 a.m.: The mandate -- more tankers, more water, more tankers, more water.

UPDATE 12:34 a.m.: Mutual aid from Perry Center is requested to fill in at Pavilion's fire hall.

UPDATE 12:36 a.m.: Equipment from Perry Barre is called to stand by in Elba.

UPDATE 12:38 a.m: Equipment from Clarendon is requested to fill in in Byron.

UPDATE 1:45 a.m. (by Howard): The fire is largely knocked down. A firefighter reports that there are no flames showing at this time. There's still lots of smoke. It's hard to say at this point how much of the main feed processing facility was saved.

UPDATE 2:12 a.m.: Bethany command reports the fire is out. Overhaul starting. Tankers will start breaking down.

UPDATE 2:26 a.m.: South Byron, the first company to be released from the scene.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Possible barn fire on Prentice Road, Stafford

post by Billie Owens in fire, Stafford

A possible barn fire is reported on Prentice Road near Route 237. A passerby told dispatch is looked like an abandoned barn on fire. Stafford Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m.: A chief near the scene says it looks like a rubbish fire off the roadway.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: The chief confirms it's a big pile of debris on fire; no one appears to be attending it.

UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: The fire is out. Stafford is back in service.

Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 11:43 am

Possible chimney fire on Martin Road on the reservation

post by Billie Owens in Alabama, east pembroke, fire, indian falls

A possible chimney fire is reported at 368 Martin Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The house is filled with smoke Alabama Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from East Pembroke and Indian Falls. Akron is put on standby. The location is between Bloomingdale Avenue and Erie County's Scotland Road.

UPDATE 10:47 a.m.: A firefighter on scene reports the fire is contained to the fireplace, and they will need equipment to tear into it in an effort to keep it contained.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m.: Akron is told they can stand down.

UPDATE 11:03 a.m.: East Pembroke and Indian Falls are on scene along with Alabama.

UPDATE 11:14 a.m.: Indian Falls is back in service.

UPDATE 11:23 a.m.: The fire is out. Alabama command and other responders are back in service.

Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

Power lines reportedly on fire on South Main, Batavia

post by Howard Owens in batavia, fire

Power lines are reportedly on fire near the residence at 164 S. Main St., Batavia.

City fire being dispatched.

UPDATE 8:04 a.m.: City fire on scene. Fire seen on the lines. National Grid notified.


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Friday, November 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Report of large leaf fire on Big Tree Road, Pavilion

post by Howard Owens in fire, Pavilion

A caller reports a "big leaf fire" at 4226 Big Tree Road, Pavilion.

Pavilion Fire Department is responding.

A chief is on scene. A Time Warner employee called it in and was unable to put out the fire himself with an extinguisher. It's unknown how the fire started. Nobody is home at the residence.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Unattended brush fire reportedly moving toward house in Stafford

post by Howard Owens in fire, Stafford

An apparently unattended brush fire in the area of Route 5 and Fargo Road, Stafford, is reportedly moving toward a house.

Stafford Fire Department is dispatched.

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