Destructive Blaze

CONEWANGO – A motor likely sparked the massive blaze that destroyed an Amish saw mill Monday evening in the town of Conewango.

Multiple fire departments were dispatched at 4:55 p.m. for a fully engulfed structure fire on Seager Hill Road. Heavy, black smoke could be seen as far away as Interstate 86.

“When we got here the structure was pretty much already gone,” said Randolph fire Chief Don McElwain.

Conewango, Randolph, East Randolph, Ellington and Leon fire departments were called to the scene. Kennedy and Falconer firefighters were placed on standby.

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office and Randolph Rescue Squad were summoned as well.

McElwain said due to the time of day and nature of the call, the blaze automatically triggered a mutual aid pact between the fire departments. “You need as many people as possible for these fires,” he said.

An exact cause of the fire was not determined by press time. However, fire officials said the motor used to power the saw likely was the source.

“They were using the saw and had it on idle when they went to go get another log,” McElwain said. “When they came back it was all fire.”

It wasn’t immediately known who owned the saw mill.