COURTESY OF JAY M. LYNCH
East Avon home claimed by fire
A fire at 2324 Pole Bridge Road in the Town of Avon totally destroyed a home and its contents last Saturday, April 28.
East Avon Fire Chief Ken Farrell, answering an 11:30 a.m. dispatch, was first on the scene, having observed a foreboding column of black smoke as he approached.
Farrell initially saw flames emerging from the roof of the garage. Checking the rear of the house, he found the entire back side fully on fire.
The two occupants and three visitors were outside and safe. The fire is believed to have started when the homeowner was grinding metal on his rear deck. Sparks from the grinding apparently ignited dry leaves under or by the deck and alongside the house. (A recent fire at the Wadsworth Homestead in Geneseo had a nearly identical cause, when a workman grinding a metal gutter ignited a porch roof.)
The two-and-a-half story circa 1970s house had vinyl siding and Styrofoam insulation, both of which ignited swiftly and burned very hot.
Chief Farrell called in six more companies: Avon, Caledonia, Livonia, Geneseo, Lakeville and Lima, with Avon Ambulance. East Avon had its aerial truck on the scene while other companies supplied tankers and manpower.
No internal attack was attempted, Farrell stated, because of the advance progress the fire had made. The fire was under control in about 40 minutes, but only a skeleton of framework was left standing.
“It was a total loss,” Farrell confirmed.
Another structure about 100 feet distant was not threatened by the fire. The mild wind blowing in the direction towards the front of the house probably fanned the flames and contributed to their rapid spread, Farrell believes.
The owners, Louis and Judy Potter, reportedly have fire insurance. The Northern Livingston County Chapter of the Red Cross has provided food, clothing, and medication for the couple.
Chief Farrell cites this incident as an example of how swiftly a house can become a tinderbox.
“That’s why we preach smoke detectors and calling 911 without delay,” he said.