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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Batavia Daily News Gets the Story:

Fire Chief Rescues Man engulfed by black smoke and hanging from attic window at Monday's Corfu house fire 

Mark Gutman, Daily News -- Town of Batavia crews inspect the attic of a house at 13 East Main St. on Monday after a fire at the location.
A man managed to get out an attic window when fire started Monday afternoon at a West Main Street residence and was hanging out the window when rescuers arrived. The man, said to be the sole occupant of the home, was successfully rescued. He suffered minor injuries and had been taken to Rochester Regional Health-United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia as of that afternoon.

Genesee County Deputy Fire Coordinator Brian Schollard said he pulled up at the scene and a village police officer and a deputy were there.

“I witnessed ... smoke coming from the attic window. It looked like the victim had kicked the window out and was hanging out of the attic window, standing out of the top sill on the second floor. The village police officer was yelling for a ladder. I ran across the street and luckily the business had a ladder,” Schollard said at the scene. “I brought the ladder over. I climbed the ladder and helped him down.”

Schollard said the man’s feet were bleeding, but other than that, he was just coughing from smoke inhalation.

“There was a working fire in the structure at that time. Most of the smoke was coming out of the attic. That’s where the window was broken. I’m not sure where it started,” he said.

Genesee County Office of Emergency Management coordinator and Fire Coordinator Tim Yaeger, said the call came in as a working house fire in the attic, with a victim hanging from a second-story window.

“It appears, at this point, to be a fire on the first floor and the fire was extinguished by the Corfu Fire Department and a few surrounding fire departments ...” Yaeger said.

“We don’t know, at this point, why he (the resident) was in the attic,” Yaeger said at the scene. “There was heavy smoke on the first, second and attic floors when the fire department arrived ...” The fire was under investigation as of Monday afternoon, with no specific information available on its origin.

“At this point, from the investigation with the firefighters and the reports back, it looked like it was a fire on the first floor,’ Yaeger said. Yaeger said it was hard to say how involved the fire was without details from inside.

“I know there were two lines that advanced into the house. The fire was knocked down on the first floor and then they did a subsequent search of the second floor and up into the attic because we had heavy smoke throughout the residence.”

No firefighters were injured during the response, Yaeger said. He also said he wasn’t sure if there were animals inside the residence at the time of the fire. The home was a difficult one to maneuver around in, Yaeger said.

“I think we’re going to be here awhile to make sure the fire’s out completely, and then to conduct the investigation thoroughly,” he said. Yaeger said the resident would most likely need Red Cross assistance.

“We’ll be making arrangements for that as well,” he said. It took 10 or 15 minutes after firefighters arrived to put the fire out, Yaeger estimated. The fire was called in around 1:17 p.m.

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