Westfield fire determined intentional
WESTFIELD – Flames from intentionally ignited trash spread to an old apartment building early Wednesday morning in the village of Westfield.
At around 1:45 a.m., Westfield, Portland, Brocton, Ripley, Sherman, Mayville, Chautauqua and Fredonia fire departments responded, along with Ellery Center Rehab Unit and Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team.
Westfield Fire Chief William Bills confirmed no one was in the building at the time of the fire.
“It was a vacant, multi-unit dwelling,” he said. “There were 15 units.”
The fire was under control by 3 a.m.
The departments were done with overhaul work at around 5 a.m.
“We had to do partial emergency demolition,” Bills said. “We worked to put out hot spots until 12:30 p.m.”
According to the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team, the cause of the fire was trash intentionally set on fire near the rear of the building. This caused the wooden exterior of the building to catch fire. A criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Bills wanted to thank everyone for their support in mutual aid.
“I can’t tell you how many men and women work really hard in these situations,” he said. “Our Chautauqua County mutual aid system is very strong; we are very fortunate with the mutual aid in our departments.”
It is undetermined what will happen to what is left of the structure.