Elmira/Corning Regional Airport


Major Damage from Ovid Fire

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
Major Damage from Ovid Fire

OVID (WENY) -- Buildings at the corner of  Main Street and West Seneca Street in the Village of Ovid are still smoldering after nearly the whole block went up in flames Tuesday night.
     The call came in a little before 6:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Ovid Fire Chief Bill Palmer says it was contained at 9:0 p.m.
    He says propane tanks might have played a role in  how quickly the flames spread.
     "The theory is that the tanks got pre-heated," said Chief Palmer. "The vents let loose on them like they're supposed to do. That ignited the gas, so then you got a blow torch effect."
     Chief Palmer says it appears the fire started in the rear of the building near an outside deck. He thinks the Italian Restaurant, tax assessor, and 7 apartments are going to have to be demolished. The Chinese restaurant may have to come down as well.  
     WENY News spoke to some people who live in the apartments who weren't ready to be on camera. They say it's still unreal; they lost everything.
     "I know the Red Cross was here helping them," said Chief Palmer. "Some of them have family that was local that they probably went with."
     Susann and  Raymond Austin live next door to the fire. The siding of their home is damaged and so is the insulation. Water meant to put out the fire flooded their basement, damaging their water heater and furnace.
     "It sounded like a bomb, like bombs going off over there. I could almost feel the concussion when it went off," said Raymond Austin.
      "I looked out the bathroom window and sure enough, the tanks started blowing," said Susann Austin.
     Chief Palmer says if investigators find anything on scene that needs to be tested by a lab, results could take weeks or even months.