Local Fire Cos. called to massive Bath blaze

Staff reports
The Leader

BATH — Officials say there were no serious injuries in a massive fire that had dozens of crews responding to flames and explosions at T&R Environmental Services in Bath.

The fire seen from the road.

At about 2:50 p.m. Thursday, the Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched for a working structure fire at T&R Environmental, next door to T&R Towing on Route 415 in the Village of Bath.

Sixteen departments were called to aid in the effort to bring the massive fire under control, according to Bath Volunteer Fire Department spokesperson John Conrad Sr. Penn Yan, Branchport/Keuka Park, and Dundee Fire Depts. were called to standby at Hammondsport, Wayne, and Pulteney.

Initially, Conrad said, the T&R Environmental building was fully involved in intense flame and heavy black smoke. Several large fireballs rose high into the sky from barrels of oil exploding inside the building.

Crews were set up to try to protect both the T&R office and dispatch center and the Fred Roberts Auto Parts buildings, located on either side of the engulfed building.

The dispatch building was saved, however, Conrad said the intense heat eventually caught and destroyed the Fred Roberts Auto building, likely due to the heavy load of oil, paint, paint thinner and other flammable materials inside the store.

It took roughly four hours to bring the fire under control and a few hours more to mop up and extinguish the fire completely, Conrad said. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Bath Volunteer Ambulance was on scene in case of injuries and to monitor firefighters through the duration of the fire. Law enforcement agencies went door to door at nearby homes to evacuate them to safety.

Sheriff James Allard told The Leader that while nearby residents were evacuated because of the dense smoke, there was no truth to online rumors that residents were being evacuated in a larger area due to hazardous airborne chemicals.

Brian Polmanteer, owner of T&R, in a written statement, extended his gratitude to all the departments and everyone that came to help in his time of need.

Polmanteer said he is grateful none of his employees or any of the firefighters were seriously hurt during the fire.