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Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Landmark home heavily damaged, but not beyond repair following afternoon fire

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire, Ross Street

Late Wednesday night, a firefighter gave Dr. David Paul a tour of his home at 33 Ross St., Batavia, so he could survey the damage.

A fire that had started in the basement and wormed its way up to the top level of the house leading to extensive fire, smoke and water damage.

But the good news is that the structure largely remains intact.

"I'm glad I have good insurance," Paul said.

Paul purchased the stately home some 30 yeas ago, restored it and in the late 1980s, the house won a Landmark Society award.

"I was at my office in Buffalo and my daughter called me as said the house is on fire," Paul said. "I shot right back here. By the time I got here, the fire department and outlying departments were here and taking care of it. I didn't see any flames, but it was really smoking and they were actively working on it."

Along with City fire, departments from Elba, Alexander and the Town of Batavia rushed to the scene.

A quick response by all concerned helped save the house.

The fire appears to have started in the basement, though Chief Jim Maxwell said the fire is still under investigation and no cause has yet been determined.

The house was built in 1902 and used balloon construction, meaning the exterior walls are open from basement to ceiling, making it easy for flames to jump from floor to floor.

Typically, balloon construction homes become fully engulfed rather quickly, but firefighters were able to contain the fire and then work on isolating hot spots on the upper floors.

"I think they did an excellent job," Paul said. "They were here right away. They were considerate. It's a mess inside, but they seemed to control what they needed to do."

The fire was reported at 4:19 p.m. as smoke coming from the basement. By the time the first firefighters were on scene, flames were shooting out of two basement windows.

"We had a good interior attack by everyone involved here," Chief Maxwell said.

Genesee County Emergency Management and Darien fire also assisted at the scene.

Dr. Paul noted that usually he's the one donating to the Red Cross. Tonight he was grateful for a cup of coffee from the agency.

Maxwell said it will take some time to determine the cause of the fire because of the heavy damage to the basement. He noted there were reports of lightning strikes in the area prior to the fire being reported.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 12:09 am

No parking zone changed to no stopping across from middle school on Ross Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ross Street

Officer Thad Mart points out to a parent a newly installed "No Stopping" sign installed on Ross Street across from Batavia Middle School.

Lt. Eugene Jankowski explained that parents parking across from the school on Ross are a traffic hazard. The street isn't wide enough to accommodate parking on both sides. The area had been posted no parking, but parents picking up their children would protest that they weren't parking, but just stopping. Now, no vehicles will be allowed to park or stop on this section of Ross during morning and afternoon school hours.

Officer Mart was assigned the duty today to ensure parents take note of the signs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 9:32 am

Statement from city on North and Ross sewer project

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure, North Street, Ross Street

Statement from City Manager Jason Molino:

The City fully understands the inconvenience and delays this project has caused the households and families affected by the construction, and we are very appreciative for your patience. I want to ensure the residents that the City is taking every step to make certain that the contractor completes the project this construction season, work is performed properly and in the best interests of the City's residents.

The contractor has advised the City that milling and paving North and Ross Streets are scheduled to take place this Thursday, Friday and Monday.  Please be reassured that the City is taking all possible action to vigorously protect the City’s interests.

Accordingly, should any resident have any concerns or complaints regarding the project, work performed, contractor or subcontractors on the job, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 345-6330 and we will address your issue as promptly as possible.

It is not the City’s policy to comment publicly on legal matters.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

No explanation for why sewer project apparently two months behind schedule

Closed, hole-dotted roads, heavy equipment parked in yards, and the smell -- the odor of open sewers -- residents around North Street are getting fed up with the months-long sewer repair project.

When work started in July, the expectation was that the worked would be completed by early September. It's now Nov. 1 and there's seemingly no end in sight.

WBTA's Geoff Redick spoke with Project Manager Mike Amadori of Tom Greenauer Development, who reportedly told Redick the company will "probably be facing litigation" over the delayed project.

The work is being done on North Street, Ross Street, Miller Avenue and Seneca Avenue.

"It's very annoying," Mary Beth Suozzi told WBTA News. She lives at 156 Ross St. "Every morning I take my son to school, and I don't know which way I'm going – and then when I come back, I'm blocked off," she said.

Sometimes, Suozzi's own driveway is obstructed by machines, preventing her from leaving for as much as a half-hour.

"The sewer smell is really bad," she continued, "...it permeates through the whole house."

She also noted that the loud noises often shake her house and that the Greenauer crews were "pretty rude" when they were on scene. (Currently, Greg Post General Services of Batavia is subcontracting, and Suozzi says that crew is more pleasant.)

There's apparently no official explanation for why the project is delayed.

For the complete story, click here.

Monday, April 26, 2010 at 9:39 am

National Grid planning emergency repair in area of Ross and Main

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, East Main Street, National Grid, Ross Street

Batavia Police have been notified that sometime in the next hour, National Grid will need to shut off the electricity at the intersection of Ross and East Main streets for an emergency repair.

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