More than three years after HTI Recycling fire, owner plans to rebuild

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LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB)–More than three years after the HTI Recycling plant burned down in a massive arson fire, killing one of the boys who started it, the owner is moving forward with plans to rebuild.

At today’s City of Lockport planning board meeting, a representative working for HTI Recycling presented plans for what owners hope to be the future structure of the plant. What kind of business will go inside, however, is still being figured out.

City of Lockport planning board members unanimously approved the first step in rebuilding HTI Recycling on Ohio Street during the meeting.

The building was significantly damaged in an arson fire back in 2016, which killed one of the teenagers who set it.

The other boy was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to arson and burglary in connection to the massive fire.

According to Timothy Arlington, a representative with HTI Recycling, company owner Derek Martin decided to rebuild once he saw part of the structure was still intact.

“Obviously a tragic loss like that is a severe impediment for him to continue but obviously he’s been able to rebuild,” Arlington said. “It’s about 17,000 square feet, much smaller of a much larger building. He wants to reuse the building after he determined that two of the main walls were still structurally safe.”

At this point, it’s still unclear what the site will be turned into. Arlington says there are several options on the drawing board.

“He obviously wants to use it for part of his business. It could be for storage, it could be for a related manufacturing component for his business, or as it was discussed previously even servicing some of his vehicles,” Arlington added.

Besides the fire that happened in 2016, there were two fires within two years under the building’s previous ownership.

The city will determine what safeguards, if any, will be put in place to prevent this from happening again based on what goes inside the building.

Despite not knowing what the building will be used for, Arlington says right now the plan is to start construction in the spring.

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