Brant NY - January 20, 2004 -- Heavy light colored smoke was pushing from the large 1-1/2 story garage when Village of Farnham Fire Chief Ellsworth Nolan arrived on location on Brant Reservation Road around 5 PM on Tuesday, January 20, 2004.
It would take several tankers, fire companies and ponds to provide enough water to attack the fire in the unattached frame construction garage. Located in an un-hydranted section of the Town of Brant, firefighters broke through the ice on a nearby pond to draft water to supply the firefight.
Firefighters originally attempted to make access to the seat of the fire through a roll-up overhead door but the weakened supports hampered their effort. A dividing wall separated them from getting water directly on the fire.
The fire eventually self-ventilated as Brant Chief Dave Pero called in crews from Angola, Lake Erie Beach, Langford, Lawtons, and North Collins to the scene. An outside defensive attack was implemented and much of the roof collapsed onto the attic floor, making access difficult without an elevated stream.
Firefighters were faced with the threat of acetylene and propane tanks stored inside the garage, and overhead power lines tied to the garage right over a window from which the fire was venting. Firefighters were able to secure the tanks away from the fire and the utility company cut power to the overhead lines.
Brant operated a deck monitor, two small attack lines and one large attack line from their 5,000 gallon tanker. After a stubborn fight in low temperatures, the fire was extinguished. Crews remained on location into the evening completing overhaul operations and assisting the Erie County Sherriffs Department in the fire investigation.
Brant was assisted at the scene by the Angola Fire Control Dispatch Center, Brant and Farnham Fire Department Ladies Auxiliaries, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, and the Erie County Department of Emergency Services. One firefighter was transported to Lake Shore Hospital with chest pain and difficulty breathing. He was held for observation in the emergency room and was reported in stable condition.
Visit the Erie County Emergency Services web site.