Fire Tears Through Man's Woodworking Shop in Ontario County
Fire investigators in Ontario County battled more than just flames when called Monday morning to fight a fire in South Bristol.
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In the battle of fire versus wood, the outcome was already determined.
"The first units to arrive reported a fully involved garage fire," said Jeff Harloff, Ontario County Fire Coordinator.
Ontario County firefighters called for a second alarm, then a third. It's hard to get water to a place like this.
"The setting here is a rural area of Ontario County, Route 33, which does not have hydrants, so water had to be hauled in."
All owner Johannes Schmidt could do was watch as his garage burned to the ground. But for the German immigrant, the building was much more than a garage. The woodworking shop was his life, says his daughter, built by hand.
Firefighters from a half-dozen departments fought the flames; so many, necessitated by the struggle in getting water to the rural site.
"So you're walking through knee deep snow to lug fire equipment and hose to suppress the fire. It is challenging."
Investigators aren't sure how the fire started. The owner had insurance, but that won't replace what was truly lost, despite firefighters' best efforts, on a cold Ontario County day.
That is gonna ice up quick and makes things treacherous, but it is life in Upstate New York, and we're used to that," Harloff said.