Three dogs claimed by fire on Blakley Road in Grove

GROVE — A family lost three beloved dogs in an afternoon blaze that consumed its log cabin home.

On Thursday at about 3:30 p.m., firefighters were toned out for a house fire at 10319 Blakley Road in the Town of Grove in the northeast corner of Allegany County. 

The fire had been reported by a mail carrier on her deliveries in the Swain area. The house was filling with smoke. A large contingent of firefighters from Livingston and Allegany County responded. The Nunda Fire Department was the first on scene along with the Canaseraga Fire Department. Several other fire departments assisted in fighting the blaze, including Angelica, Fillmore, Birdsall, Short Tract and the District 1 Fast Team with Belfast Air Cascade. Mount Morris, Belmont, Wiscoy-Rossburg and Dansville fire departments were on standby.

New York State Troopers out of the Fillmore barracks were on scene along with local ambulances, including Nunda and Canaseraga. Allegany County Emergency Services and Livingston County Emergency Services were on scene as well.

The structure was home to Sherrie Canfield, her boyfriend, Chris Wester, Sherrie’s 15-year-old daughter, Alexis Mattison, and their seven-month-old daughter, Brooklyn Wester.

The three dogs — Boo, Prince and Paris — were like part of the family, said Bonnie Wester, Chris’s mother.

The home had been completely engulfed in flames by 4 p.m. and there was no saving it. 

Allegany County Deputy Fire Coordinator Joe Clark said that the cause is currently undetermined. Fire investigators were called to the scene.

“We haven’t even started looking into the cause just yet,” he said. “It will be a while before we figure out what happened here.”

Clark said that the home was likely a total loss given the damage, and thankfully no one was home when this happened.

Bonnie Wester said that her son had just started renting the home a few months ago.

“This has always been their dream to live in a log cabin,” she said. “My son has already been through so much pain in his life. He has a heart machine and CPAP machine that was destroyed in the fire. He has had a lot going on with his health, and now this has happened to him.

“Alexis was on the school bus when this fire happened, and she saw the cabin in flames from the bus. Thankfully the bus driver would not let her off the bus, and drove her back to the school,” Wester continued. “Her aunt picked her up and took her home. I am just so glad no one was home when this happened.”

The American Red Cross was en route to offer the family a place to stay and the medicine that was needed.

“My son loved it here, and he loved those dogs like they were his own children,” Wester said. “They had just moved up here from Dansville. Sherrie works at the daycare there and my son works with the elderly in Nunda. Both of them had dreams of living in the woods. This was such a beautiful home.”

Wester added that everyone came together for her son when he had his heart problems, and she has faith that everyone will come together to help the family through this ordeal.

The family lost everything in the fire. Talks of a benefit in the near future to help the family had already begun Thursday. A Go Fund Me was quickly set up at https://www.gofundme.com/6vv8yjs

Arkport/Canaseraga cheerleading posted the following to its Facebook page: "One of our JV cheerleaders home burnt down today. The family lost all of their belongings. We are taking up a collection of any amount. Please see a cheer coach if you would like to donate. Also, clothes can be donated for her (size medium) or her baby sister that wears about a 12-18 month old clothes."