CASSADAGA — A commercial two-story garage was fully engulfed and destroyed Friday afternoon as firefighters battled frigid conditions and wind in the third fire in two days in Chautauqua County.
The Sheriff’s Fire Investigation Team says the fire started from a coal stove in close proximity to wood building material.
Deputies say the garage was used to work on semi-trucks.
“We had a fully engulfed structure upon arrival,” Chris Roll, Assistant Chief of the Sinclairville Fire Company, told WNY News Now live at the scene.
Firefighters shuttled water from a nearby stream with tankers from various departments, Roll said. The main work of the responders was to stop the fire from spreading and protect surrounding property, Roll explained. As firefighters continued to douse the blaze, the next step will be interior work to get water at the base of the fire to extinguish it, he said.
“Water freezes at 32 degrees. You have to keep water moving or it freezes,” Roll said. The cold conditions and wind made the call a difficult one for responders.
People working in the structure were able to escape safely before the fire became intense, Roll said.
He expressed appreciation and gratitude for help from neighboring departments, with six departments in all responding to the scene.
As of 3:30 p.m. the county fire investigation was on scene and working, he explained.
Roll said the cold conditions keep everyone chilly and makes the battle even more unpleasant than it normally is.
As for county firefighters facing three fires in two days, Roll said it’s tiring.
“It can be tiring sometimes, but on the other hand we know full well that what we do makes a difference and we’ll sleep another time,” he said.