|Three-Alarm Fire Damages Historic Oaks Corners Home
On Wednesday May 21, 2014 at 12:24pm, the Oaks Corners Fire Company, Phelps Fire Department, &
Phelps Ambulance were dispatched to 801 County Road 23 in the Hamlet of Oaks Corners for a reported
house fire. This house is the former Oaks Inn which was built in 1885 and was the site of a second-alarm fire
on November 20, 2012. Oaks Corners Chief Brian Maney arrived on scene at 12:29pm, assumed command,
and reported heavy smoke showing. An Ontario County Sheriff's Deputy was on location and reported fire on
the second floor and attic with fire burning up the side of the house on Side-2. Chief Maney requested a
second alarm assignment which included an engine & FAST Team from the City of Geneva Fire Department,
an engine & tankers from the Seneca Castle Fire Department, and tankers from the Border City & North Side
Fire Departments. A special call was also made for a ladder truck from Geneva.
Oaks Corners Engine 3211 arrived and firefighters made a quick defensive attack on the fire on Side-2
before entering the building. Firefighters from Oaks Corners, Phelps, & Geneva staffed the attack & backup
lines which entered on Side-3. Firefighters found the first staircase to be blocked and had to stretch their
lines to a staircase much further away. Geneva Quint 1181 was positioned on Side-4 and Geneva Engine
1111 was positioned on Side-1. Geneva Firefighters stretched a pair of lines into the building from Engine
1111. Heavy fire started to build in the attic and the interior crews were hampered by damage that had not
been repaired from a previous fire. A rapid increase of fire took place including fire through the roof and from
the attic windows. Incident Command ordered all firefighters to evacuate the building and switch to a
defensive attack by outside hose lines and Quint 1181. Quint 1181 was fed by supply lines from Engine 3211
& Pumper/Tanker 3231.
Incident Command requested a third alarm bringing engines from Border City & White Springs, and tankers
from Junius, Waterloo, Stanley, and Bellona. The defensive attack knocked down the major fire within 10
minutes and crews re-entered the building to continue interior fire attack. Geneva did not have enough
manpower to staff a FAST Team so a FAST team was formed by available Phelps Firefighters on scene. The
fire required extensive overhaul and was declared under control at 1:50 pm.
Firefighters were also hampered by the lack of hydrants on the east side of town. Seneca Castle Chief James
Trickey served as Water Supply Officer. Seneca Castle Engine 2411 set up the initial fill site at a hydrant on
Johnson Road in the Town of Seneca. Border City Engine 201 set up a second fill site at a creek on Cross
Road east of Carter Road. None of the tankers dumped more than once and we never ran out of water
despite the defensive attack.
Oaks Corners EMS providers and Auxiliary set up a rehab sector with Rescue 3261 & Heavy Rescue 3271
under the direction of EMT Chris Tiffany. Phelps Ambulance stood by on scene. The Marbletown Fire
Department provided stand-by coverage in the Oaks Corners station. Ontario County Fire Coordinator
Jeffrey Harloff & Seneca County Fire Coordinator Charlie McCann assisted on scene. The fire was caused by
someone cutting a pipe with a grinder above the first floor ceiling. There was extensive fire damage to the
attic and second floor with water damage throughout the house. There were no injuries reported.
Photo's by OCFD Member Rick Maney