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Camera rolling as fire interior collapses
Honeoye, NY - "It was dramatic this morning!" Honeoye Richmond Fire Chief Bernie McGory was one of the first on the scene. "It had quite a head start on us."
Soon Ontario County Fire Coordinator Jeff Harloff arrived too. During an interview with 13WHAM, he was talking about driving to the scene and seeing the flames from far away when a part of the inside of the building collapsed. His calm reaction? "I think it's a well involved fire and it's something we are going to be at for a while."
And they were. Hours into fighting this fire, another collapse during another interview.
It is the end to a building that has a lot of history. The front part of the building was built in 1913 and was originally Honeoye High School.
But resident Tim Mills said it was really falling apart. "There's been a lot of holes in the roofs and it's just a matter of time...I thought the roof was going to collapse but I didn't see this coming," Mills said.
Stone Construction owned it for years, then Commodore Plastics took it over about a year ago.
Commodore suffered a devastating fire in 1991 at another location. A company out of Syracuse called Kral was doing asbestos abatement for Commodore. That work will be part of the investigation being done by the offices of the Ontario County Fire Coordinator and Ontario County Sheriff's Office. Commodore Plastics officials on scene had no comment other than "It sucks."
As for fighting the fire, there was no question which tactic the firefighters would take.
Chief McGory said, "At three and a half stories and flames through the roof and all visible windows on the front of the building, there wasn't any going inside the building."
So they fought it from the outside. Fourteen fire departments of about 100 fire fighters - all of them volunteers.
Christian Mills who was watching the firefighters with his parents said about the firefighters, "I think they are pretty cool."
And then were well organized. For hours they ran a relay of trucks back and forth from Honeoye and Canandaigua Lakes to bring in extra water.
Fire Coordinator Jeff Harloff explained, "the water level in the tanks here for the municipal water supply dropped to a level that we had to switch over to hailing water from remote water sources."
That was their back-up plan and it worked--in a building they had done disaster drills in only a few years earlier.
This time, it was the real thing.
The building has since been torn down.