Up in flames

North Warren’s Barley Home ‘moving towards demolition’ years after fire

Over three years after fire ravaged the former Barley Home on S. State St. in North Warren, efforts are now underway that will result in the demolition of the remnants of the historic structure.

Crews were working at the site on Thursday and Conewango Township Secretary Jennifer Riggin said that the township is “moving towards demolition.”

The Times Observer reported last month that an agreement had been reached for the township to purchase the parcel from Rodger and Kathleen Shattuck. Online assessment data indicates that the township paid $5,000 for the property. The official sale date was Dec. 22, 2017.

Riggin said that there isn’t a date yet for when the remains of the structure will be demolished but said it is contingent on the weather.

She said that a contractor has been selected who will put up barricades before the structure in demolished.

Along with asbestos abatement that is required as part of the demolition, Riggin said it’s “quite a process.”

She said the township’s goal once the demolition is completed is to offer the parcel for redevelopment or real estate.

The building was originally built by the Wetmore family in the 1830s and was initially used as the family’s summer home.

Judge Lansing D. Wetmore, for whom some of the nearby streets are named, had been one of the residents of the home.

Hazel Barley purchased the property in about 1960. It was used as a nursing home from then until 2011.

“When I got here, the whole front two-thirds, first and second floor, were fully involved,” North Warren Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim Reynolds said in August 2014 when it burned

The fire started near the front – State Street side – of the building, but spread through the second floor and roof the length of the structure, Reynolds said. “It’s totally destroyed.”

No one was in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured battling the blaze, he said.

Firefighters from nine departments – North Warren, Starbrick, Glade, Lander, Russell, Scandia, Clarendon, Youngsville, and Pleasant – responded and participated in fighting the blaze from inside and out.