Tuesday, January 17th, 2017


It was a brutal week that saw at least two major fires, below freezing temperatures, snow, and high winds — resulting in downed power lines, numerous accidents, fallen trees, power outages, school closings and  various  problems throughout the area.

On Thursday (1/9) a neighbor reported seeing water coming from the second floor of a house at 1442 Hidden Pond in the Gananda Development in the Town of Walworth.

When County water employees responded, they found that the empty two-story colonial had water flowing out of one of the second story walls, flooding the upstairs and running all the way down to a flooded basement.

Water was streaming from beneath the garage door, laying a thick coat of ice down the length of the driveway. A similar flow was spotted out the front door and throughout the outside circumference of the second floor of the house. In some areas, sheets of ice completely covered the outside walls. Huge ice streams pushed out wood joints and siding.

The home belongs to George M. Vigelette, who town officials contacted after the discovery. Vigelette said the house is a rental property but had been unoccupied for some time.

Town officials declared the house “a real mess” inside. Firefighters responded and turned the water off and RG&E cut the power. Vigelette said he had the heat set at 59º, but, with the extreme cold spell it was unsure if a pipe burst, or a joint seal behind the wall let go.

The house will require extensive remodeling with both interior and exterior damage and the possibility of mold growth throughout. According to Walworth Code Enforcement Officer Phil Williamson, he informed Vigelette that, due to the extensive repairs that will undoubtedly be required, the Town building Inspector, Norm Druschel will have to do several work inspections.

Complaints of burst pipes and flooded basements peppered the County during and after some of the coldest conditions the County has seen in decades.

Nine fire companies from both Cayuga and Wayne County responded to a house fire on Duck Lake Road, Red Creek (actually located in Conquest, Cayuga County).

Firefighters were dispatched at 8:45 a.m. to a one-story rental home, occupied by Brandon Hastings and his father, Brian. The blaze started in a back bedroom and was tough to bring under control. According to Conquest Fire Chief Jim Burke, the older home had undergone remodeling. The fire was brought under control after two hours and confined to one area of the dwelling.

Brandon Hastings was taken to Syracuse Hospital for burns to his hands, following an unsuccessful attempt to save the family cats. Brian Hastings was taken to Auburn for smoke inhalation. Both men were treated and released.

On Saturday (1/4) at 4:15 p.m.,   Matt Furgeson’s dogs became agitated,  so he took them for a walk. The water pipes in the house froze, so Matt’s wife, Kerry, went to her mother’s house to shower and do laundry. Within moments, Matt discovered smoke coming out of the eves at 6391 North Huron Road in the Town of Wolcott.

Wolcott Fire Chief Ray Wellington said it took firefighters from ten area companies about an hour and 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control. The house was a total loss. Since there were no hydrants available, tanker trucks hauling water to the fire were used. Fire companies from Wolcott, North Rose, Red Creek, South Butler, Rose, Clyde, Wallington, Alton, Sodus Center and Fairhaven were called in.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Fire Investigator Kevin Kuntz said a preliminary investigation shows that the fire was possibly caused by a problem in the chimney.

No one was injured.