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Cayuga County Seeing Uptick in Structure Fire Calls


Cayuga County is experiencing an uptick in reported and active structure fires.

At Monday’s meeting of the county legislature’s Judicial & Public Safety Committee, Riley Shurtleff, Director of Emergency Services, said that the number of calls dispatched out of his office so far this year has nearly matched that of 2023’s total call volume with over half of them coming from structure fire calls.

“We’re sitting at about 102 calls dispatched out of my office, including, as of [Sunday], 64 potential or working structure fires,” said Shurtleff “That is a significant change [compared] to last year. Last year, we saw 149 calls period and now we’re sitting at 102 at the six-month mark.”

Shurtleff added that the increase in structure fires comes with an increase in requests for fire investigators to try to determine their causes.

“It’s a number of factors that go into it, without going too far into the fire investigation world, but we’re seeing just this continued uptick and we’re seeing a roughly 25% higher call volume at this point in the year,” Shurtleff continued.

According to Shurtleff, contributing factors include vehicle fires occurring within garages or barns, the improper disposal of flammable materials such as linseed oil-soaked rags, or exposed wiring in aging infrastructure.

Recent structure fires in the county include Sunday’s barn fire in Genoa and last week’s mobile home fire in Victroy that claimed the life of one man.

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