ARCADE, N.Y. (WIVB) — A large fire broke out in a commercial building in the Village of Arcade late Tuesday night. Around 9 p.m., firefighters responded to the scene at Finger Lakes Hay and Straw on Park Street.
According to the Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services, a large portion of the 31,000-square-foot building had heavy fire conditions when firefighters arrived on scene.
“Some of the challenges: large commercial structure, metal make up of construction of the building,” Wyoming County fire coordinator Bill Streicher said. “The fire spread rapidly, we had to call a couple ladder trucks in, which require large amounts of water. The village can sustain that to a certain extent.”
Along with the village water system, 12 fire department tankers hauled water to the scene to supply two ladder trucks that were operating multiple master streams and hand lines.
Streicher said the building was filled with dangerous items.
“There’s a lot of dangerous items inside. Some flammables, ammunition, vehicles — multiple vehicles — were inside, as well,” he said. “It was a long night for a lot of volunteer firefighters who were out here, along with end support. They’re putting their life aside to try to mitigate the emergency as best as they could. Again this was a large scale event and the duration it took to get to the fire and put the fire out safely without anybody getting hurt takes a lot of time.”
Arcade resident Keith Odom said he heard a “whoosh, just like a match” when the fire started and heard explosions from inside the building.
“It didn’t pick and choose a spot — it just — well you can see it. It’s incredible. It’s a total loss,” Odom said. “And you can actually look through the windows and you can still see the barn over there smoldering. All I can say is wow, God bless those firemen.”
Odom also commented on the smell of the fire.
“It was the stuff you’ve seen in movies. Now I’ve actually seen it for real,” Odom said. “And the smell of smoke, just wow.”
Officials say one firefighter had a minor injury and damages are estimated at $1.5 million. Multiple tenants occupy the building but it is unclear whether or not the building was occupied at the time of the fire.
“It was a long night for a lot of volunteer firefighters who were out here,” Streicher said. “They’re putting their life aside to try to mitigate the emergency as best as they could. Again, this was a large scale event and the duration it took to get to the fire and put the fire out safely without anybody getting hurt takes a lot of time.”
A nearby resident said the building was used for manufacturing and carried fiberglass which may have caused the fire to burn for over three hours.
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