GENESEO – After a rigorous joint investigation by the Geneseo Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, and Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, the cause of the destructive blaze that cost Main Street two businesses has been determined to be an accidental electrical short in an internal cloth wire in the back, or south-facing, wall.
Geneseo Fire Chief Andrew Chanler conclusively says in his official report to the Geneseo Village Board that the short in an interior wire was the origin of the fire on July 29, 2015, the first major Main Street fire since 1977.
The Geneseo Fire Department found the cloth wire last week, and the investigation concluded that it was the origin of the fire. The investigation was led by Kevin Niedermaier, Director of Emergency Management for Livingston County, with Geneseo Fire Chief Chanler, Tom McGorey with Emergency Management, and Livingston County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Williams assisting.
The wire was installed more than 50 years ago.
Both Kelly’s Saloon and Honey Girl Gourmet were lost in the fire. Honey Girl’s founder and owner, Alyssa Cope, says that her business will return as soon as possible in Geneseo.
Chief Chanler said that investigators had known for some time that the fire was electrical in nature.
The fire also displaced students who were occupying the two apartments upstairs in the Kelly’s building. SUNY Geneseo is currently providing emergency housing for some of these students on campus.
The fire started at about 3:45 p.m. and quickly spread throughout the structure, though firefighters were able to limit the majority of the damage to the Kelly’s building. Neighboring businesses suffered smoke and water damage.
The Kelly’s building is condemned and will be demolished, to be rebuilt from the bottom up.