Phone Tie-Up — Barn Destroyed
A $30,000 fire on Sept. 28, 1951, destroyed a large barn on the farm of Alfred Unger, Gates, N. Y. Mrs. Unger told sheriff’s deputies that she tried “three or four times” to call firemen on an 8-party telephone line, but that whoever was on the line would not get off. As a result, she said, the Unger’s son, Kenneth, 27, who discovered the blaze about 9:00 A.M., was forced to drive two miles to Coldwater Firehouse No. 3.
Lost in the barn were a registered bull worth $250; 110 tons of hay; 950 bushels of oats and barley; 20 tons of straw and milking equipment. Two silos full of corn also were destroyed. The $30,000 loss was estimated by Mr. Unger and Jerome Ver Weire, Chief of the Gates-Chili Fire Department, which fought the blaze together with aid from North Greece, Spencerport and Chili.
Water was relayed to the fire by the volunteers from a quarry some distance away but the fire had gained such headway by the time the first company arrived that the barn was beyond saving. A strong wind blowing toward the fields prevented sparks from igniting the farmhouse but grass a quarter of a mile away caught fire.