News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Oneonta Fire Department

No Injuries As Car Rolls Over Clinton Street Embankment

No Injuries As Car Rolls Over

Clinton Street Embankment

Oneonta Fire Captain Thomas DiMartin stands next to an SUV that went over the embankment behind the Bagnardi Shoe Repair shop at 128 Chestnut St., missing the building by three feet. The accident, which occurred around 9:45 a.m, was caused when the driver attempted to execute a turn on Clinton Street and he lost control, sendng the vehicle over the edge. A tree stump and some power lines were torn up, but neither of the car’s two occupants were injured. At this hour, Oneonta fire department crews are on the scene as they wait for NYSEG to arrive, but traffic has not been disrupted. (Ian Austin/


Flashover Training Helps OFD Build Intuition

Flashover Training

Helps OFD Build Intuition

Oneonta firemen Don Tubia and Richard Knapp, rear, listen to Jeff Dygert, a state fire instructor, former Fire Chief and current City Manager from Auburn, who stands next to the smoking remains of a fireman’s coat and a melted helmet, pulled from a fire inside a burn container at a two day flash-over simulator in Neahwa Park. The training is put on by the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs and is given to fire departments at the County’s request. Firefighters are put in a specialized multi-level container where they are subjected to fire that can reach temperatures of 1400 degrees. The purpose of the training is to help the firemen be keenly aware of their surroundings equipment in extreme situations to build intuition about when to leave a situation and knowing the limits of themselves and their equipment. (Ian Austin/



Lighting Strike At Grove Street Destroys Tree, Closes Road

Lighting Strike On Grove St.

Destroys Tree, Closes Road

Landlord Mike Hubbs surveys the damage to a tree in front of 36 Grove St. in Oneonta that was struck by lightening earlier this evening. The strike was so intense that it sent bark and debris into the wood and onto the roof of houses down the street. The Oneonta Fire Department and NYSEG have responded, and the road is temporarily closed. It’s the second weather-related road closure Grove Street has seen this week; on Sunday, a sudden storm blew down a tree, taking down wires and closing the street for several hours. (Ian Austin/


Tree Down, Live Wires At Grove, Academy Streets

Tree Down, Live Wires

At Grove, Academy Streets

Captain Tom DiMartin of the Oneonta Fire Department surveys the damage from a downed tree on the corner of Grove and Academy Streets in Oneonta. It is unknown at this time whether lightning or winds from this evenings’ thunderstorm caused the damage. NYSEG has been alerted, but fire officials are warning the public to stay away from the area as small fires and live wires are still active on the scene. No other damage has been reported in the city. (Ian Austin/

Hall Of Fame Classic


HOF CLASSIC GAME – 1:05 p.m. The seven inning Hall of Fame Classic game begins. Preceded by the Home Run Batting Contest by Big League Players at Noon. Tickets, $12.50 First and Third base seats, $11 general admission outfield seats. Doubleday Field, Cooperstown. Info, (877) 726-9028,

WWAST SOFTBALL GAME – Noon. Wounded Warrior Amputees play softball against the Oneonta Police and Fire Departments. Support your heroes. Admission by donation. Concessions open 11 a.m. Damaschke Field, 15 James Georgeson Ave., Oneonta. Info,

Fire Chief: Christopher’s Fire Started In Dining Room

Fire Chief: Christopher’s Blaze

Started In Front Dining Room

Oneonta Assistant Fire Chief Jim Maloney, front, confers with fire investigators, while Don Tubia, left, helps sift through the rubble of the front right corner, where the early-morning fire that destroyed Christopher’s Restaurant is believed to have started. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – The overnight fire that destroyed Christopher’s Restaurant on Southside started in the front right corner of the building, a dining area, according to Oneonta Fire Chief Patrick Pigeon.

A passerby called the fire in at 2:20 a.m. and crews arrived less than five minutes later to find the fire fully involved. “We started an aggressive attack through the front doors, but after 10 minutes, we realized it wasn’t going to work,” said Pigeon. “The fire was already up in the roof system.”

According to Pigeon, they spent another 20 minutes inside trying to battle the blaze, but with so many rooms, the fire was impossible to contain. “We would douse one room, and the fire would just be pushed to the next,” he said.

Fire Destroys Christopher’s Restaurant



Oneonta Landmark Burns Overnight

The fire that broke out overnight completely destroyed Christopher’s Restaurant on Southside.  The landmark was unique locally:  It was built and decorated as an Adirondack lodge, evident in the trophies (foreground) that decorated the walls. The cause remains under investigation (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – The Oneonta Fire Department is still on the scene after an early morning blaze destroyed landmark Christopher’s Restaurant on Southside.

The call came into the city fire department at 2:20 a.m. and professional firefighters arrived on the scene to find the restaurant fully engulfed.  “It no longer exists,” said fireman Al Sayers Lutz. “It’s been completely destroyed.”

Crowd Delays Start Of Fire-Pact Hearing

Crowd Delays Start

Of Fire-Pact Hearing

The 6 p.m.  start of this evening’s public hearing on creation of a breakaway volunteer fire department in the Town of Oneonta was delayed by the throng of people signing up to speak; the line snaked around the meeting room at Oneonta’s Elm Park Methodist Church on Chestnut Street. Here, Ron Peters, an associate of Town Fire Commissioner Johna Peachin, is advising would-be speaker Annemarie Hosned. Behind her is Common Council member Dana Levinson.  The Oneonta town fire commissioners are proposing a volunteer department after two years of negotiations with City Hall over the services of the city’s professional Oneonta Fire Department failed to produce a contract.  (Ian Austin/


Fire At Munson’s Building Supply

Fire At Munson’s

Building Supply

Steve Munson and Richard Jubar have already begun fixing the corner of Munson’s Building Supply that was damaged in a minor electrical fire this morning. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – A small electrical fire broke out a Munson’s Building Supply this morning, causing minor damage to a storage area in the front of the store.

Around 8:30 a.m., co-owner Steve Munson and his employees heard a loud “bang” before the power went out. A fire was quickly discovered in front west corner of the store. Though only a small area was damaged by the fire, the Oneonta Fire Department saturated and tore out a larger area to keep the fire from spreading. The main sales floor was not damaged.

Man Arrested After Car Arson

Man Arrested

After Car Arson

Jonathan Delgado

ONEONTA – An Oneonta man was arrested after police and fire investigators allege he set his neighbor’s car on fire earlier this afternoon.

Jonathan Delgado, 31, was arrested after the police and fire department were dispatched to the report of a vehicle fire in the area of 41 Burnside Avenue.  First responders arrived at the scene to find a red 2009 Subaru Forester, belonging to a neighborhood resident, fully engulfed in flames.  The Oneonta Fire Department extinguished the blaze as police officers conducted a neighborhood canvass and located Delgado, who was detained during the early stages of the investigation.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103