POLAND - An unattended candle is believed to have sparked a stubborn two-alarm fire Sunday evening in the town of Poland.
First responders were summoned at 6:48 p.m. to 2094 Route 62, between Dolloff and Scott Hill roads, for a report of a structure fire. Kennedy assistant fire Chief Keith Bean was first on location and reported that the porch was in flames. A total of seven fire departments and the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services responded.
The fire originated in the first floor family room, according to the Chautauqua County fire investigation team. A candle left burning in the room was cited as causing the blaze.
Firefighters battle a blaze Sunday evening in the town of Poland. The need for a steady water supply brought in a total of seven fire departments and the Chautauqua County rescue truck. See more photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Eric Tichy
A firefighter motions to another amid smoky skies while on a ladder.
The residence was called a total loss, fire officials said.
"When we got here the fire was near the front of the residence," Bean said. "It then moved to the attic and in between the walls. We weren't able to get inside due to the conditions."
Kennedy was assisted by Ellington, Falconer, Frewsburg, Randolph, Gerry and Kiantone fire departments. Members from the Randolph Rescue Squad and Fluvanna Fire Department were at the scene as well.
"We needed the water supply here, so we had to call everyone in," Bean said of the two-alarm blaze. "Part of it was just getting the water on the fire."
Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies, who were assisted by State Police, said two youths were home at the time of the fire and managed to escape; some family pets were believed to have perished in the blaze.
Ron Coe, whose daughter Jessie lives in the residence, said he heard the report of a structure fire on his scanner and raced over to find flames shooting from the front of the porch. He said he was glad to see everyone made it out safely.
"This house has been in the family for over 100 years," Coe told The Post-Journal. "I'm just happy no one was hurt and everyone was able to get out."
The fire was ruled accidental. The American Red Cross was assisting the displaced family, sheriff's deputies said.