News of Otsego County

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


House Fire

EMMONS MYSTERY 4 Horses Are Rescued, But Homeowner’s Body Found
Reprinted From Today’s Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal


4 Horses Are Rescued, But

Homeowner’s Body Found

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Robb Polley and one of his beloved horses.

EMMONS – The Otsego County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a well-known Oneonta area hairdresser who was found in his rural home late Monday evening  alongside the Susquehanna River by firefighters responding to a report of a house on fire.

“He didn’t die before the fire started,” said Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. “And the fire didn’t kill him.”

Though Devlin declined to give the man’s name or cause of death, friends on Facebook confirmed that the deceased man was Robb Polley. He was the owner of Maverick Hair Salon, which he ran out of the home.

In his first-person obituary, submitted by the family to the Bookhout Funeral Home within hours of his passing, he was described as “owner and singing ‘Hair Banger’ of Maverick Hair and Morning Wood Farm.”

Loose Stovepipe Started Fire, Reports Schuyler Lake FD

Loose Stovepipe Starts Fire,

Schuyler Lake VFD Reports

Capt. Ryan Strong, of the Richfield Springs Volunteer Fire Department was on the scene of a fire in Schuyler Lake. The fire, which started in a loose woodstove pipe, was quickly contained. With him is Alan Steere, a Schuyler Lake VFD firefighter. (James Cummings/

SCHUYLER LAKE – A loose wood stove pipe caused a house fire earlier this afternoon on County Route 22 in the Hamlet of Schuyler Lake.

The fire, at the home of Tom Donnelly, was reportedly caused by a loose fitting on a wood stove. The leak from the stove and resulting heat caught the house’s wallpaper on fire.

Dawn Blaze Guts Springfield House

Dawn Blaze Guts

Springfield House

Hometown Oneonta & Freeman’s Journal Reporter Pat Wager is en route to the scene of this morning’s fire on Guy Witts Road, Town of Springfield. Check back for more details. This photo was aired by WKTV-Utica.  Guy Witts Road is north of Route 20 beyond the KOA Campground.



One Dog Saved, Second Dog Dies

The Oneonta Fire Department on the scene at a house fire on Forest Avenue. (Ian Austin/
OFD Firefighter Chris Froh on the scene at a house fire on Forest Avenue. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – At this hour, the Oneonta Fire Department is battling a blaze at 8 Forest Ave.  The homeowner sustained slight injuries while escaping the house, and although fire crews rescued one dog from the residence, the second dog died.

West Oneonta and Worcester Fire Departments provided mutual aid.  The fire is currently under control.

This is a developing story, check back for details.


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