COHOCTON — A structure fire that began in the early hours of Tuesday morning claimed an unoccupied house in Cohocton and caused damage to one other.
Captain Francis Gilman of the Cohocton Fire Department said he and his department were dispached “at around 2:10 this morning” to 34 Maple Ave. in the Village of Cohocton. They were met with a fire that was in the process of engulfing a two-story, vacant home.
Gilman said fire crews worked for “about three hours” to bring the blaze under control. The building is a total loss.
An occupied home located at 32 Maple Ave., adjacent to the vacant building that caught fire, was evacuated as a precaution, said Gilman.
The occupied home sustained damage to its siding and several windows blew out as a result of its proximity to the burning structure. In addition, a truck parked in the driveway between the occupied home and the vacant house that caught fire was also destroyed by the intense heat.
According to Steuben County tax records, the owner of the vacant building that burned is Arthur Griffin Jr. In 2014, the properry was assessed at $40,000.
The owners of the evacuated home were listed as Raymond and Tammy Garibaldi. Their home was assessed at $64,300 in 2014.
Neither Griffin or the Garibaldis could be reached for comment as of Tuesday evening.
Joe Gerych was one of Steuben County's fire investigators that was on the scene to try to determine the cause of the fire.
“We're still looking at a few things,” said Gerych. “We've got to do some more follow-up.”
When asked about rumors that teens had broken in to the house and set the fire either accidentally or on purpose, Gerych said he was skeptical.
“That's one of the possibilities, but I don't believe there's been any kids there,” said Gerych. “Most of the neighbors don't think that. They haven't seen any kids there lately.”
Gerych said there is no defininte time-frame in which the investigation will conclude.
Gilman said that no injuries were reported. Fire crews from Atlanta, Wallace, Wayland and Perkinsville were on scene to assist.