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Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Possible chimney fire on Alleghany Road

post by Billie Owens in Alabama, fire

A possible chimney fire is reported at 6581 Alleghany Road. That's just south of Church Street, one the east side of the roadway. Alabama Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 5:56 p.m.: Alabama is back in service.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Possible cooking fire on South Main Street

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A resident is reporting light smoke on the first floor of a residence at 172 1/2 S. Main St. City fire is responding. Another resident says it may be cooking related.

Friday, March 14, 2014 at 5:12 am

Smoke and flames coming from basement on South Swan Street in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

Smoke and flames are reportedly coming from the basement of a house at 229 S. Swan St. The residents have been advised to evacuate. City firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 5:13 a.m.: City fire on scene with nothing showing.

UPDATE 5:28 a.m.: A code enforcement officer is called in.

UPDATE 5:30 a.m.: Code enforcement ETA is 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Fire on Lincoln Avenue in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

"A house fire," with the caller reporting it as a microwave problem, is at 9 Lincoln Ave., near Thomas Avenue. The occupants are out. Ladder 15 and Engine 11 are on scene.

UPDATE 8:17 p.m.: "The fire is out on the stove, checking for extensions."

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: No extensions. Now ventilating.

UPDATE 8:58 p.m.: City assignment back in service. 


Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Stove fire on River Street in the city

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A stove fire is reported in the kitchen at 97 River St. City fire is responding. The location is between Birchwood Drive and Pearl Street.

UPDATE 7:53 p.m.: Engine 11 is on scene. Dispatch says the caller is now reporting "that she got the fire out."

UPDATE 7:56 p.m.: They are ventilating the structure.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: The assignment is back in service.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Stove fire reported at residence in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, fire

A stove fire is reported at 9865 Route 98, Alexander.

Alexander fire is dispatched. Town of Batavia's ladder truck requested to the scene.

UPDATE 4:09 p.m.: Town of Batavia can go back in service. One responding Alexander engine can continue non-emergency and the other can stage in quarters.

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.: Alexander assignment back in service.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Car fire on Indian Falls Road

post by Billie Owens in east pembroke, fire

A vehicle is on fire at 8419 Indian Falls Road. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 1:56 p.m.: East Pembroke commands reports the fire is under control.

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Brush fire reported off Transit Road, Byron

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, fire

A brush fire is reported in the area of 6063 Transit Road, Byron.

Byron and South Byron were dispatched more than 10 minutes ago and are on scene.

A brush truck from Elba was just requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.: Elba requested to fill in at Byron's hall.

UPDATE 9:54 p.m.: Mercy EMS requested to the scene. Unknown reason.

UPDATE 10:27 p.m.: Elba's tanker is back in service.

CORRECTION: It was the brush truck from Elba, not a Mercy ambulance requested to the scene.

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Photo: Darien fire rekindle

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, fire

Brittany Hodge sent his picture of the rekindle of this morning's fire at 1363 Broadway, Darien.

There have been a couple of rekindles today, but this one required both Darien fire and Corfu fire to be dispatched, along with a fill-in by Pembroke at Corfu's hall.

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: Alexander fire has been dispatched to the rekindle.


Monday, March 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

'Training just kicks in' as volunteers help evacuate their burning apartment building in Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, fire

A classic, fully restored Harley was lost, as well as a restored Jeep. Six residents lost their personal belongings. The apartment building at 1363 Broadway, Darien, was destroyed.

Sadly, a dog lost his life.

But no people were seriously hurt, or worse.

That bit of good fortunate is a credit, it seems, to the professionalism of two members of the Darien Volunteer Fire Department who lived in the apartment building.

Joshua Reeb and Paul Redden were home when the fire broke out sometime around 4:30 a.m.

Redden smashed through Reeb's door and woke his fellow volunteer. He said he smelled smoke. Reeb felt the door into the hallway. At that point, he said, his fire training kicked in.

"It was all fire training," Reeb said. "I knew right away from the smell and the heat it was a real one. It wasn't somebody burning something. It was real."

Reeb and Redden helped alert the other residents, including the landlord, who owned the building and had lived in the main apartment for 30 years. Reeb helped him down the second-floor fire escape.

"I knew I had to get out and I had to get out now," Reeb said.

The two volunteers then rushed to the Darien fire hall -- less than a half-mile away -- and got their trucks "ready to rock and roll."

"I knew I wasn't going to be able to fight this fire," Reeb said. "But I knew I could get to the hall, open the doors, get the truck ready and let other people take over."

It was pitch black coming out of the apartment onto the fire escape. Knowing the layout, staying calm, not trying to grab his belongings, and being aware of what was going on around him made all the difference, said the 22-year-old Reeb, who has been a volunteer for five years.

"The training just takes over," Reeb said. "There's no fear. It's just respect for the fire, knowing I've got to do this and I've got to do this. All of that training just kicks in. It didn't hit me until I saw the flames coming out of my bedroom window and then it took me to the ground."

The initial investigation indicates the fire originated in the basement garage where fumes from spilled gasoline may have ignited when a hot water heater kicked on.

The building was owned by Scott Gielow, a mechanic who had converted his basement into a garage where he restored the vehicles he loved -- Harleys and Jeeps. In addition to losing the restored vehicles, he had two Jeeps that were still projects.

The fire was reported at 4:35 a.m. and as soon as Darien Chief Jim Marino got on scene he called for a second alarm. Flames were shooting out of the back of the building.

Two residents suffered minor burns and were treated at the scene.

The century-old structure was balloon construction with no insulation. Aluminum siding helped contain the fire to the interior of the building, but the flames just shot up the walls, unhindered by the kind of blocks between floors used in more modern buildings.

New hot spots seemed to flare up faster than firefighters could pour water on other involved parts of the building.

"The nature of the fire, the wind, the balloon construction, where it started, just made it hard to attack," Marino said.

Marino said it sounded like Reeb and Redden did a good job of making sure everybody got out of the building safely.

"It could have been a lot worse," Marino said.

Responding departments included Darien, Alexander, City of Batavia (Fast Team), Town of Batavia, Corfu, Pembroke, Alden and Bennington. Marcy EMS and Darien Ambulance also responded and deputies were on scene.

The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Darien has been dispatched for a possible rekindle of the fire. It's the second rekindle this afternoon.

UPDATE 4:54 p.m.: Per chief, all units can remain in quarters.

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: Darien and Corfu dispatched for a rekindle.

Joshua Reeb looks over the damage to the apartment building where he had been living.

To order prints of photos, click here.

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