The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

October 21, 2013

Demolition ongoing at Orleans Pallet

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — The building that used to house Orleans Pallet Co. could be seen for miles on Thursday as flames were several stories high.

Now, though, the remains of the structure on on their way to becoming a distant memory.

Most of the building has been demolished, with another few sections of wall left to topple. The Albion Fire Dept. has been making periodic checks on the rubble to make sure that the embers of hot ash do not reignite and cause another blaze.

Assistant Fire Chief Jeremy Graham said the department is “putting out what we need to” in order to keep the area safe.

When the fire call came in a little after 4 p.m., Graham said the department knew it was in for a long night.

“I’ve never seen a fire like that,” he said. “It was really big, and it’s something we don’t see that often.”

Graham praised the firefighters and first responders who were at the scene. They included every company in Orleans County except East Shelby, which was on standby as part of a mutual aid agreement. Also at the scene were the Genesee County Hazardous Team and the Town of Batavia Ladder Co. Graham said Monroe and Niagara Counties were on standby for mutual aid.

Of the emergency workers who were there, Graham said the job was done the right way. “We maintained our composure to get through putting out the fire,” he stated. “At no point did we talk about the size of the fire until we put it out.”

Graham also lauded the work of law enforcement officials, who worked to create a perimeter around the blaze in order to ensure the safety of nearby residents and onlookers.

One concern on Thursday was the fire’s proximity to Empire Coatings, a company that deals in chemicals and flammable compounds. Graham said crews managed to keep Empire Coatings safe, and that the building remained unharmed.

Graham added that the fire started when a worker at Orleans Pallet Co. was using a grinder, and the sparks from the grinder ignited some nearby materials.