JAMESTOWN – City of Jamestown fire crews worked into the night Friday battling a massive blaze at what was the Jamestown Royal Upholstery Company on East Crescent Street.
Companies were first called to the scene around 7 p.m. for reports of massive smoke and flames coming from the old factory, that once produced furniture.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist tells WNY News Now this is quite possibly one of the largest fires the city has seen in recent history.
“This fire was really hot, it has melted siding in parts of buildings around it, so we are working hard to make sure our folks are safe,” said Sundquist.
In total, all available personnel from the Jamestown Fire Department were called to scene, along with several neighboring departments providing aid.
As mentioned by the Mayor, the heat of the fire was a big challenge for first responders.
“When the initial arriving companies responded here, the building was still standing and a lot of it has collapsed down due to the heat of the fire,” explained Jamestown Fire Chief Matthew Coon.
Since then, an emergency demolition has been ordered, which will bring down the remaining structure.
But Coon says before the demo, crews will be searching inside.
“As we go through and try to mop up hotspots, we will be checking to make sure that there has been no injuries associated with this blaze,” furthered Coon.
Jaycee Moore, who lives near the fire scene, first noticed something was wrong when she saw a plume of black smoke billowing above her house. Additionally, she says some debris fell from the sky.
“We had large pieces of debris, and also small pieces like paper, some burned pages that had letters on them still, like writing,” said Moore. “There were other pieces, like part of the roof or something.”
The smoke was spotted as far as Cattaraugus County, and even on doppler radar.
As for what caused the blaze, that’s anyone’s guess, however investigators are looking into the origin.