Share this article

print logo

Clarence house fire rekindles, causing $1.75 million in damage

By Charity Vogel and Anne Neville

NEws Staff ReporterS

Volunteer firefighters believed they had extinguished a fire in a spacious Clarence home late Friday night, but they were called back Saturday morning when the fire rekindled.

When it was all over, damage to the house and contents was estimated at $1.75 million.

The original call came in shortly after 8 p.m. Friday, and it was reported as a possible fire in the chimney of the two-story home at 4575 Timberlake Drive. Firefighters from Clarence had to thread their apparatus down a long, narrow street, which runs off Bergtold Road near Shisler Road. A second alarm, brought additional help from other volunteer departments.

Timberlake has only one hydrant, and a second hydrant on Bergtold Road was tapped for more water, an Amherst Fire Control spokesman said.

The blaze intially caused $300,000 in damage to the house and another $300,000 to the contents, Clarence Fire District No. 1 Chief Jeff Schlabach said. One occupant at home at the time was not injured, Schlabach said.

The crews cleared the scene at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to Amherst Fire Control. But shortly before 7 a.m. Saturday, a caller reported that what remained of the 4,449-square-foot home was burning again. Clarence responded and struck a second alarm shortly after 7 a.m.

The blaze was reported extinguished a second time shortly after noon.

After the second blaze, the damage estimate was boosted to $1 million to the house and $750,000 to its contents.

The cause of the fire, which was traced to a chimney, is being investigated by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Online databases describe the two-story, turreted, stucco-walled house, built in 1999, as having four bedrooms and three bathrooms and being situated on a five-acre lot.

Schlabach, who returned to the scene late Saturday afternoon, said battling the blaze in the 4,500-square-foot home was a tough task for firefighters.

“There were smoke detectors,” said Schlabach, a firefighter of 15 years. “They were working.”.

Clarence firefighters were assisted by Clarence, Clarence Center, Harris Hill, Newstead and Main-Transit.

email: and