Fire destroys former New York cutlery factory

Camillus (WSYR-TV) – Insurance agents are inspecting damage one day after fire destroyed a building on the former Camillus Cutlery complex.

The complex’s owner – Tom Blair of Sweet Spot Development – said his company intends to move forward with plans to install medical offices and apartments.

The building that was destroyed in the blaze was already slated for demolition.

The West Genesee School District issued a note on Tuesday morning indicating that North Street in the village of Camillus remains closed due to fire activity.

The fire began just before 1 p.m. on Monday.

Fire officials say the blaze began during demolition work at the old factory building, which was to be turned into a medical facility and an up-scale apartment complex.

Three people were hurt, according to officials at the scene. One firefighter suffered a concussion after being injured by a piece of equipment and two National Grid workers were also hurt after being struck by high pressure water streams. One was taken to the hospital for evaluation and the other refused treatment at the scene.

The fire sparked a massive response that hasn’t been seen for years in Onondaga County.

Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management Kevin Wisely says 24 agencies from Onondaga and Cayuga counties were called in to help douse the flames.

“It’s just one of those fires that’s going to take some time to put out in an old vacant structure,” Wisely told NewsChannel 9 on Monday night.

Flames could be seen rising high above the roof of the two-story building and smoke billowing from the building could be seen for miles.

Tankers filled portable ponds near the scene, while a bit farther away, firefighters were rotated in and out, giving them ample time to rest up and refuel.

“We have departments drafting water out of the creek to other engines, then pumping it to other apparatus that are flowing water onto the structure,” Wisely said.

The building’s long history helped in its quick destruction.

“There’s a lot of buildup, sawdust, and dust and oils that were used in the processing of the facility that are soaked into the lumber in the structure,” Wisely said. “That caused and enhanced [the fire] to spread.”

Police asked the community to avoid the Village of Camillus through early Tuesday morning to allow crews to continue to put out hot spots.

Main Street westbound from Milton Avenue to Newport Road northbound were closed until Monday evening while crews battled the fire.

Authorities are also warning area residents that they may see a temporary decrease in their water pressure as crews remain on the scene. A Boil Water Advisory was posted for area residents until all water samples confirm the water is safe to drink.

Camillus Cutlery dated to the 1870s. It went bankrupt in 2007.

via Developer moving ahead after former Camillus Cutlery fire – NewsChannel 9 WSYR.

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