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Large Fire Destroys Former Historic Babcock Ladder Factory

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

BATH, NY - At 9:02 P.M. on Monday, March 11th, the Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched for a possible structure fire at the former Babcock Ladder Factory, currently owned by Clark’s Specialty Company, reported from a passerby located at 36 Delaware Ave, in the Village of Bath.

The Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Bath Village Police were first on scene and confirmed flames were through the roof. Bath Assistant Fire Chief David Dowdle arrived immediately afterwards and called for a full second-alarm assignment, and minutes later called for a third-alarm assignment with heavy fire and smoke conditions.

Fire Departments from all over Steuben County were called in to help fight this large fire. Bath VA, Hammondsport, Avoca, Kanona, Savona, Cohocton, Campbell Painted Post were called initially. About an hour later, additional units from Wayland, Corning Joint Fire District, Prattsburgh and Forest View Gang Mills for additional manpower were called to relieve the firefighters that had been fighting the fire from the beginning. The New York State Police had to send units onto I-86 to keep traffic moving that was stopping along the highway to watch the fire, so that an accident did not also hamper things and cause injury.

The fire was called under control at about 12:45 A.M., with many units still on scene at the time of this release to try to knock down some smaller fires. With the metal roof, there were many places that would remain smoldering through the night and for some time. No injuries have been reported. Currently, the cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation by the Steuben County Fire Investigation Team.

Heavy equipment from the Steuben County Highway Department arrived on Tuesday morning to work with fire crews to assist in overhaul and help fire investigators determine the cause of the fire. The factory was a metal fabrication company that was known for making instant photo film booths.

We thank all the departments, law enforcement and EMS that gave us so much help through the night. Also, a huge thank you to the Auxiliary Bath Fireflies, Al and Patty Brewer, and Mike and Lisa Fox for getting refreshments and food to all the crews on the fire ground!

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JOHN CONRADCorrespondent

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