POMFRET, N.Y. (WIVB) – An overnight blaze that destroyed two businesses in Chautauqua County was caused by a Halogen utility light, fire investigators say.
Around 8:30 p.m., firefighters were called to West Wind Custom Archery and Fredonia Pet Parlor on Rt. 20 in Pomfret. By the time crews arrived, the building was already full involved and a second alarm was called.
Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Lt. Richard Telford said, “Obviously it got a head start on the firefighters and with the cold and the wind last night, it certainly didn’t help.”
Five fire departments worked in blizzard conditions to try to extinguish the flames as their equipment and hose lines froze. Despite their efforts, the business was a total loss. It took five hours to extinguish the flames.
“Very fast and they couldn’t get the water. There was trouble with the cold weather,” Lt. Telford said.
Investigators determined the fire was caused by a Halogen utility light being left too close to combustible material inside the pet parlor, which had been closed for renovations, otherwise there could have been up to 20 pets inside. No animals were being housed in the parlor at the time flames broke out.
News 4 spoke to Anita Lucas about the fire before the cause was known. She said, “I’m sick about it especially since i feel like my customers were let down, they depend on you and I know it’s just dogs and it’s just haircuts but they depend on you.”
The owner of the archery shop said it had been a busy year for him. He was working on preserving at least 30 animals and there were also several hunting trophies in the shop. In a Facebook post, he stated:
“My family and I are humbled by the support from our friends and everyone. I am most upset at the loss of my customers’ trophies. I am truly heart broken. If you know me, I take extreme pride an personal investment in every mount and bow that left the shop. I am lost right now. I am bless with a safe family and friends. I truly love you all.”
No one was injured in the fire.