Halogen light blamed for blaze

Annita Luce is sickened knowing that the Fredonia pet business she’s had for more than 20 years was destroyed by fire.

At the same time, she is relieved no animals were killed.

Luce is the owner of Fredonia Pet Parlor. Her business is located in the same building as West Wind Archery and Taxidermy. Both businesses were destroyed in a late night blaze Wednesday.

Fire investigators were at the scene Thursday and determined the cause to be accidental in nature.

“Thank God no pets were there because of some scheduled remodeling,” Luce said Thursday.

She has owned Fredonia Pet Parlor for at least 23 years. At the business Luce takes in animals for grooming. She also watches pets while families are on vacation.

Luce had closed the facility March 1 because they were doing some remodeling. “I always have pets there,” she said. “But I even brought my own cats home because of the work being done.”

At this point, Luce will be talking with her insurance for the next step.

“This has been my livelihood for years and years and years,” she said.

According to the Fredonia Fire Department, firefighters responded to 4823 Route 20 (West), around 8:30 p.m. to a fully engaged structure fire. A second alarm for manpower and equipment was dispatched. Assistant Fire Chief John Lanphere said it was a hard fight due to blizzard conditions which froze equipment, hose lines and the firefighters’ gear. No one was inside the building at the time and no injuries were reported.

The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team conducted the investigation. It was determined the fire started in the east end of the building which housed the grooming business. The fire allegedly started when a halogen utility light was too close to combustible material causing that material to ignite. The fire then spread to West Wind Archery. The building is a complete loss.

Fredonia Fire Department First Assistant Chief Kurt Maytum was one of the firefighters on scene that night.

“It took us four hours to fully put out the fire,” he said. “It was contained to the building; no homes caught fire.”

Aid came from various other fire departments including: the city of Dunkirk, West and East town of Dunkirk, Brocton, Portland, along with the Chautauqua County Fire Police, the Chautauqua County Fire Investigators, National Fuel, National Grid and New York State Department of Transportation.

Fredonia Fire Department Second Assistant Chief John Lanphere expressed his gratitude for a job well done.

“It was a hard fight due to blizzard conditions which froze equipment, hose lines, and the firefighters gear,” he said.