Fire that destroyed apartments ruled undetermined

CONEWANGO VALLEY — A fire that destroyed a Conewango Valley apartment building in late December has been ruled undetermined.

Capt. Rich Telford of the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team said officials believe the blaze, which broke out Dec. 30 at 5521 Route 62, began in an upstairs apartment.

“Due to the condition of the building, we were not able to conduct a more thorough exam of the building,” Telford said. “So at this point, it will be undetermined unless some other information is developed.”

Firefighters from more than 10 departments in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties were called in to help douse the blaze at the garage-turned-apartments.

Steve Rexford, chief of the Ellington Fire Department, said multiple departments were necessary to keep up a steady supply of water. Assisting Ellington were volunteers from Conewango, Cherry Creek, Leon, South Dayton, Randolph, East Randolph, Kennedy, Gerry, Sinclairville, Falconer, Busti, Kiantone and the county FAST Team.

“We don’t have a municipal water source so we have to haul it in,” Rexford said the day of the fire. “We had tankers shuttling water to the scene.”

The American Red Cross was called to help those displaced by the fire.


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