- I’ve been meaning to post this picture of the 6166 South Vine Valley Rd. facility, taken on New Year’s Day. Obviously boarding up a window makes one think it was broken; was it? If so, then the obvious questions are: when? how? why? who? For those interested in knowing, it seems advisable to get into the [...]
- Dick DeMallie has sent the following information and pictures, which he received from Supervisor Bob Multer, to SOS members and others regarding the fire last evening (Friday, January 25th) at the Highway Department Barns: “A truck caught fire in the shop area of the Town Highway Barns last night. Attached are 3 pictures of the damage. The [...]
- Fire Update: Smoking Mulch? The link to day 2 (follow-up) article on the Penn Yan Chronicle Express, authored by Scott Pukos with contributions by Gwen Chamberlain, can be found at: http://www.chronicle-express.com/article/20121126/NEWS/121129968/1001/NEWS Yates County Emergency Services Director Brian Winslow was reported to have said there was minor damage to the inside and outside of the building and “some [...]
I’ve been meaning to post this picture of the 6166 South Vine Valley Rd. facility, taken on New Year’s Day. Obviously boarding up a window makes one think it was broken; was it? If so, then the obvious questions are: when? how? why? who? For those interested in knowing, it seems advisable to get into the practice of “FOIL’ing” i.e. FOIL – Freedom of Information Law. Here’s the address to contact:
Freedom of Information Office at
NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
44 Holland Ave., Albany, NY 12229-0001
While you are looking at this picture, please notice how the parking pattern continues to block the front door from evacuation, even when the “management” knew the water source wasn’t connected to the sprinkler system! But that is a bigger story of neglectfulness, for another day.
Dick DeMallie has sent the following information and pictures, which he received from Supervisor Bob Multer, to SOS members and others regarding the fire last evening (Friday, January 25th) at the Highway Department Barns:
WHAM has reported: “At least six fire departments battled a large blaze late Friday night in Yates County. Just after 9:30, firefighters arrived to find flames and smoke coming from the town barns of Middlesex. The barns house town vehicles and other equipment. That fire burned for several hours before crews could finally extinguish it. Reportedly three dump trucks were damaged in the fire with one of them a total loss.”
Fire Update: Smoking Mulch?
The link to day 2 (follow-up) article on the Penn Yan Chronicle Express, authored by Scott Pukos with contributions by Gwen Chamberlain, can be found at:
Yates County Emergency Services Director Brian Winslow was reported to have said there was minor damage to the inside and outside of the building and “some charring on the basement floors.”
Since the group home is owned by NYS, the investigation was done by a state team which determined the cause was “careless disposal of smoking materials.” He said mulch outside the house caught fire and spread. It seems quite surprising, less than 2 days later, that the cause is so clear and so quickly reported, as most investigations often seem to take longer.
One should take into account that it was all about fire concerns that “ignited” the community upset and outrage earlier this year, and is documented in a number of places on this website. Through FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) SOS had previously learned that in April 2010 there was the first report from NYS Fire Inspection that the fire suppression system at 6166 South Vine Valley Road was inadequate. Approximately 20 MONTHS later, after NYS put a rehab project out to public bid, the then-occupants were notified of the unsafe conditions and were removed 2 MONTHS after that!
So, it appears, those occupants were permitted to remain for nearly 2 years after an unsafe fire suppression system had been discovered, without any notification of families for about 20 months! And, even though work was to begin on bringing the system to code, there was no provision for those long-term occupants to ever return and, as best we know, they never did. Rather, 3 to 6 “new” occupants, believed to be more mobile, were moved in, and the only thing the community has been told is that they are not registered sex offenders. We do not know what else is in their backgrounds, including any fire-related matters, which hopefully has also been examined as part of the current investigation.
The current investigation also does not mention whether it was an occupant of the group home or a member of staff or a visitor who was the one to inappropriately dispose of smoking materials. Since there is believed to be a regulated distance required from the house for smoking, how did smoking materials get into the mulch which is presumably near the house? How and by what mechanism did the fire spread to the basement where, we are led to believe, the interior damage occurred? We know a bit about the basement sprinklers from the Fire Inspection Report we FOIL’ed earlier and which can be found here.
When one looks at those 10 pages of the fire inspection report, one notices that replacement of the basement piping system had been listed as Priority #4. Was it done? The report also noted that a plug-in electrical connection for the air compressor was needed to be hard-wired and that the air line had to be run not in a rubber hose as it was found during inspection, but in a hard pipe air line. Were these corrections made and, if so, were they effective in this basement fire? Was bringing a K-9 unit to the scene typical of investigation prodedure or was there some other reason?
There are other questions to be raised as well: Work has been proceeding apace on burying the water tanks. At the end of this post we show some of the pictures taken by Lynn Lersch of that installation on November 21st.
- Since, at the time of the fire, the tanks are not fully covered over, it is a reasonable question as to whether or not the fire suppression system was fully functioning, or functioning at all in this latest incident?
- If the house was filled with smoke, does that indicate the system was not fully functioning?
- How were occupants able to return the same night if the sprinklers went off? Wouldn’t everything have been drenched?
- The Middlesex Tanker Truck was noted filling up at the Vine Valley Beach. Does that indicate that the new fire suppression system at the group home was NOT fully functioning at the time of the fire?
- Is it possible that occupants who have been in the building since last July may have been there without full fire suppression capability and that they might have been exposed to the dangers to which prior occupants had been exposed for a prolonged period before they were removed?
- What actions are being taken to prevent such an incident from being repeated?
These questions seem reasonable to ask given the rapidity of the investigation, the dangerous condition which was previously allowed to persist unknown to occupants and their families, and NYS’s less than stellar track record regarding fires in institutional settings (and deaths that have resulted.) Meanwhile, we document recent work being done on the burying of tanks, and we ask whether or not this indicates that occupants may have been several months without adequate fire safety?
Dear Viewer, The posts and comments previously located here have been moved to “BLOG” or “SOS NEWS” in the right column (or on the toolbar band across the top) because many people were missing it down here. Notice that articles featured above on the News Flash are sometimes moved to BLOG (right column) after a few days.Read more ...
- News Flash: PY Chronicle Express on the Middlesex IRA | Save our Surroundings on 3-26-12 Comm. Burke to SOS
- OPWDD Smoking Gun? | Save our Surroundings on In Your Face x 7
- Update from Lynn Lersch | Save our Surroundings on PY Chronicle Express 2-8-12
- Update from Lynn Lersch | Save our Surroundings on Emergency Meetings
- Emergency Meetings | Save our Surroundings on 2-01-12 Multer Opposition Stated
- A Welcome to the SOS Blog
- Begin by Registering
- Comments: “How to Comment”
- Community Center Emerging Artists Program 2012
- Community Center Vine Valley Program 2012
- Community Questions
- Cuomo Budget: Putting $ First?
- Dryden Hydrofracking Lesson
- Every 30 years or so ….
- Future Care: Privatization?
- Greetings, SOS, from Lynn
- Hello Taxpayer, Hello Gov’t
- In Your Face x 7
- Isn’t It All About Andy?
- It Doesn’t Work With Courtney Burke
- Just an Albany Trickle-Down?
- Keep MDC Open: News & Video
- Luxury Guest House?
- Map Shows 1/2 Mile RED ZONE
- Mis-Speaker Courtney Burke
- More Cuomo Stuff Rolls Downhill
- NYS Care of the Disabled by Danny Hakim
- NYS Care of the Disabled Updated
- Open Update from Lynn Lersch to SOS
- OPWDD’s DodgeBall
- Outstanding Representation from Sen. O’Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano
- Palmesano & O’Mara Deserve our Votes
- Patience, Petitions and PotLuck
- Policing Care of the Disabled: Cuomo?
- PY Chronicle on Middlesex IRA (Group Home)
- Sen. Gallivan’s Support Letter of SOS to Gov. Cuomo
- Smoking Guns: DASNY and OPWDD
- Speaking Out is Ignored by Burke: OPWDD’s Farce & Abuse
- The View from a Vine Valley Neighbor
- 2-06-12 Sen. O’Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano Letter to Commissioner Burke
- 2-17-12 Letter from Commissioner Burke to Senator O’Mara / Assemblyman Palmesano
- 2-20-12 SOS Letter to Commissioner Burke with 484 Petitions
- 2-29-12 SOS to Gov. Cuomo: 484 Petitions
- 3-26-12 Comm. Burke to SOS
- 3-28-12 Answer Letter from Sen. O’Mara / Assemblyman Palmesano to Commissioner Burke
- 3-28-12 Sen. O’Mara/Assemblyman Palmesano Letter to Cuomo re Commissioner Burke
- 4-26-12 Sen Gallivan’s Letter to Gov. Cuomo
- Media Coverage
- Associated Press (AP) 2-12-12
- Brighton Henrietta Post 3-15-12
- Daily Messenger 2-08-12
- Daily Messenger 2-02-12
- Daily Messenger: 3-30-12
- Democrat & Chronicle 11-27-11
- Democrat & Chronicle 2-28-12
- Democrat & Chronicle 3-11-12
- PY Chronicle Express 2-22-12
- PY Chronicle Express 2-8-12
- PY Chronicle Express 8-1-12
- YNN 2-27-12
- News Releases – SOS