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Flames break out in the bedding department at the Town of Batavia Bed Bath and Beyond this afternoon.

The initial calls to dispatch came in before 4:30 Monday. Crews were greeted by heavy smoke and visible flame in the back corner of the store. A second alarm went out and additional equipment was called for.

Dan Coffey, Deputy Chief of the Town of Batavia Fire Department, says firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire from the rear of the building, but visibility was an issue with the smoke.

Another encumberance? The nearby hydrants.

“The first couple hydrants that we tried within this parking lot were frozen, so that caused us to go to plan B and we actually had to lay in from the road,” Coffey said. Tankers were called in, which is a rare occurrence because “we have significant water mains in this area. We’re more than able to do what we need to do here, but unfortunately, they were frozen.”

The temperature was hovering near 10 degrees as firefighters worked.

Smoke spread to Petco, Michaels and the adjacent vacant parcel. Crews began ventilating the store and the resident animals at Petco were evacuated.

The bedding section is a heavy fire load because it’s loaded floor to ceiling with fabric, Coffey said. The sprinkler system did work and helped to alert fire authorities to the event.

No cause has been determined this early in the investigation, Coffey said.

The store will be closed for an undetermined amount of time due to fire and water damage.

A couple of employees were treated for smoke inhalation, but there were no significant injuries reported.

(top picture: front of Bed Bath & Beyond on Veterans Memorial Drive; right picture: firefighters speak with Petco's manager as a ventilator works into the store)

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# Anonymous User
Saturday, February 01, 2014 8:29 AM
Saturday Local News

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