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Photo by Livingston Co. Emergency Mgt, photographer Jay M. Lynch
Photos by Jay M. Lynch, Livingston County Emergency Management Photographer

A 150-year-old one-person home on an old farm in the Town of York was nearly completely destroyed by fire this morning. Authorities say the preliminary investigation reveals the fire was electrical.

Livingston County Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Niedermayer tells WBTA News that the first report of fire came in at 3:51a.m. on Old State Road. The homeowner, Allen Galbrath, had been awoken by the smell of smoke, and found his office on fire. Galbrath escaped the house safely, carrying his dog, and then called 9-1-1.

14 emergency companies responded to the scene, most with tankers, as there are no fire hydrants to draw from on Old State Road. First responders on-scene reported heavy smoke and flames pouring from the first floor windows. The battle was complicated because the house is balloon-frame, meaning there is extensive space beween the exterior and interior walls. Fire quickly climbed between the walls to the second floor.

Niedermayer also said the house had been through extensive modifications in its 150-year history, which led to potentially dangerous electrical wiring complications for firefighters on-scene.

The fire was under control within an hour-and-a-half.

Allen Galbrath has been displaced from the home, but is staying with family nearby. The house is located at the thousand-acre A&J Farms in York, about 5 miles outside the village.

Niedermayer expects the house to be declared a total loss, but is waiting for the insurance company to make the final determination.

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