Blaze claims house built by Plymouth Colony descendants

OSSIAN — Tammy and Dave Gillette had found a dream come true in restoring a historic home on Ossian Hill, but a fire turned it into a nightmare on Wednesday afternoon.

The couple lost everything in a blaze that engulfed the historic 1850s home around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Dansville Fire Department was the first on scene. West Sparta, Canaseraga, Nunda, Sparta, Mount Morris, and Perkinsville fire departments helped battle the fire for over four hours. Dansville Fire Department went back to handle a rekindle around 9 p.m.

John Schmoltze, Gillette’s son, has set up a Go Fund Me page for his parents.

“Right now the biggest struggle is my parents are looking for a place to live with their four big shepherd/lab mix dogs. The American Red Cross did give them some vouchers,” he said. “I want to thank everyone for their support. Right now my family could use dog toys, leashes, collars (sizes X-L). They could use some clothes. For men’s clothing extra large shirts and 36 inch by 30 inch pants. For women’s clothing extra large shirts and sweatpants.”

Schmoltze said that his parents are staying with a friend for a few days, but they had invested a lot of money into remodeling that home.

The home located at 3516 Route 436 was built in 1850 by Luther Bisbee II and his wife Eliza West. They are descendants of Thomas Besbidge and Francis West of the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts from 1637 to 1670. Luther Bisbee, Bisbee II’s father, was an American Revolutionary War soldier who founded Bisbeetown in 1819.

T.D. O’Dell of West Sparta Fire Department told Genesee Country Express that the fire was so bad they had to haul water from a pond two miles away.

“No one was in the home at the time of the fire from what I understand,” he said. “The cause of the fire is still being investigated. This was Dansville’s fire, but we got the call around 1:50 p.m. to come and help. We hauled a lot of water from a pond about two miles away to put out the fire.”

The Letchworth State Park Police were on scene to direct traffic as westbound traffic was shut off due to the severity of the blaze.

Facebook had been flooded with concerned citizens and past owners talking about the tragic loss of this historic treasure. It was a history that had withstood the test of time.

Nathaniel Barron lived down the road from the house, and he is the fourth great grandson of Luther Bisbee II. He is the last descendant of the Bisbee family line. A Go Fund Me Page has been set up for the Gillette Family called "Help my parents out by John Schmoltze."