BATH, N.Y. (WETM)– The Bath Volunteer Fire Department was called to a house fire on County Route 15 in the town of Bath early Wednesday afternoon.
The caller told firefighters about seeing smoke coming from a home but was unsure if anyone was inside. Bath Assistant Chief Joe Washburn was the first on scene and confirmed a working structure fire and requested a second alarm.
Another call for help was requested for manpower, ambulances, and for the Bath VA to bring its rehab bus to cool off the crews in the muggy air trying to extinguish the fire.
When Assistant Chief Washburn arrived on scene he was met by a tenant of the home who had tried to get inside to save their pets but was unable to get back in. Firefighters said three dogs and 13 cats perished in the fire.
The tenant suffered several lacerations and was having difficulty breathing from the smoke. She was transported to Ira Davenport Hospital in Bath for treatment of her injuries and was released.
Two Bath firefighters also had to be transported to Ira Davenport Hospital for heat exhaustion. They were treated and released, as well.
Firefighters identified the homeowner as Michael George of Bath. The American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist the tenants of the home which was declared to be a total loss.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Twelve fire departments responded to assist BVFD. Also responding was The Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps, AMR Ambulance from Corning and The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office who sent seven Emergency Medical Technicians to help with the rehab of the firefighters. The Steuben County Fire Investigation Team was also called and responded to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.